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Spanglish (2004)

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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 57,671 users   Metascore: 48/100
Reviews: 328 user | 129 critic | 37 from Metacritic.com

A woman and her daughter emigrate from Mexico for a better life in America, where they start working for a family where the patriarch is a newly celebrated chef with an insecure wife.

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Title: Spanglish (2004)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Monica (as Cecilia Suarez)
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Flor's Husband
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Luz
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14-Year-Old Boy
Nicole Nieth ...
Hostess at Fancy Restaurant
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Businessman
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Businessman
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Storyline

John Clasky is a devoted dad whose skills as a chef have offered his family a very upscale life, including a summer home in Malibu and a breathtaking new Mexican housekeeper, named Flor. She and her daughter Cristina have recently emigrated to L.A. from Mexico and are trying to find a better life. When they move in with the Claskys for the summer, Flor has to fight for her daughter's soul as she discovers that life in a new country is perilous! Written by Anthony Pereyra <hypersonic91@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

housekeeper | chef | mexico | college | letter | See more »

Taglines:

A comedy with a language all its own. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual content and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

17 December 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Espanglish  »

Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$129,994 (South Africa) (1 April 2005)

Gross:

$276,485 (South Africa) (15 April 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There was a translator on the set as Paz Vega did not speak English and the director James L. Brooks did not speak Spanish. See more »

Goofs

After Deborah comes in from running, she is in a sports bra and bike shorts. When she climbs on top of John, you can clearly see that she still has her shorts on when they have sex. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Boy's Voice: [voiceover to scene of people reviewing applications] To Dean of Admission, Princeton University. The most influential person in my life...
Girl's Voice: ...is Mother Teresa, whose example helped me overcome the arrogance which threatened after my 1600 SAT score in National Merit Scholarship
Girl's Voice #2: ...most influential person taught me the most important word I've ever learned; Aloha, which I...
Narrator: To the Dean of Admission, Princeton University, from Cristina Moreno. Most influential person, my Mother, No ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

No actors were mistreated in the making of this film. See more »

Connections

Featured in HBO First Look: The Making of 'Spanglish' (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

¿Dónde se fueron?
Written by Raul Pacheco (as Raúl Pacheco Jr.), Asdrubal Sierra, Jose Espinosa, Ulises Bella, Willy Abers, Justin Poree, Charles Stewart, Jiro Yamaguchi, William Marrufo, Alfredo Ortiz, Pablo Castorena and Lucas MacFadden
Performed by Ozomatli
Courtesy of Almo Sounds
By Arrangement with Natural Energy Lab
See more »

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User Reviews

 
not another cookie-cutter comedy
31 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I must admit that it took a little while for "Spanglish" to completely win me over - but win me over it did thanks to its sharply observed social commentary and winning performances by a first-rate cast. At first, the film threatens to be swept away by a tidal wave of stereotypical characters and clichés, but it doesn't take long for the subtleties and complexities to kick in and to lift the movie to a higher level.

This is James L. Brooks' witty take on the cultural divide that separates the "master class" from the "servant class," in multi-ethnic Los Angeles. The Hispanic side of the equation is represented by Flor Moreno (Paz Vega), a gorgeous single mother living in Mexico who heads to America to start a new life for herself and her daughter. Eventually, despite the fact that she cannot speak English, Flor finds a job as a fulltime housekeeper and nanny for a wealthy white family named the Claskys. The wife, Deborah (Tea Leoni), is a deeply neurotic limousine liberal who drives her family crazy with her obsessive compulsiveness and lack of a clear mental focus. Her husband, John, is a mild-mannered master chef who has become completely exasperated by the intensely mercurial nature of his wife's behavior and moods, and who yearns for nothing more than a little peace and harmony on the home front. The Claskys also have a sweet-tempered but homely daughter, Bernice, who bonds with Flor's beautiful daughter, Christina, who narrates the tale.

What distinguishes "Spanglish" from so many other American comedies is its staunch refusal to adhere to a cookie-cutter formula. Brooks has written a screenplay that allows the characters room to breathe and to interact with one another in complex and surprising ways. He doesn't even feel the need to tie up all the loose ends in the closing minutes. He is perfectly willing to let the characters continue to live their lives even after the closing credits have scrolled by. What he captures best is the subtle tug-of-war that develops between the two mothers over their respective daughters, particularly Deborah's intense devotion to Christina, which seems partly a result of a genuine desire to help her get ahead in life, and partly an unconscious preference for this beautiful child over her own overweight daughter. Brooks understands the sore spots inherent in parent/child interactions as well as relationships in general. Naturally, a romantic attraction eventually develops between John and Flor, but one that is handled with charm, delicacy and tact.

Sandler and Vega give warmth, touching performances, and Shelbie Bruce, Sarah Steele and Cloris Leachman offer superb support. Leoni starts off so over-the-top that one fears she will throw the entire movie off-kilter. But damned if she doesn't grow on you, as she turns what could have been a psychological gargoyle into a sympathetic woman filled with feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt.

Happily, the humor in the film arises naturally from the characters and situations and almost never feels desperate or forced. And, indeed, there are some very hearty laughs generously laced throughout the movie.

"Spanglish' doesn't try to "solve" the ethnic and race relations problems that still plague America's largest cities. However, in its own quiet, humor-filled way, it reminds us that the caste system is still very much a reality in a country that prides itself on its supposed lack of class-consciousness.


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Alternate Ending girlWonder77
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Tea Leoni is a horrible actress ralph_knight2002
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