6.4/10
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Spanglish (2004)

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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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 wins & 14 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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Fourteen-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

Taglines:

Every family has a hero. 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:

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Release Date:

17 December 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Espanglish  »

Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$8,817,853 (USA) (17 December 2004)

Gross:

$42,044,321 (USA) (28 January 2005)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Chef's/ cooks used in the kitchen seen are actual Le Cordon Bleu Students from the nearby cooking school in Pasadena, CA See more »

Goofs

When Deborah is picked up by the businessman, his car has no license plate in the driveway but has one on the street in the following shot. 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 ...
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in 11th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

They Can't Take That Away from Me
Written by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin
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User Reviews

 
Interesting Social Commentary - SPANGLISH?
30 December 2004 | by See all my reviews

SPANGLISH - a term with negative connotation to numerous Spanish-Americans (or at least to the first generation or older immigrants).

As the title implies, the movie makes a very interesting and subtle social commentary about the Mexican American dynamics/contrast in society. Obviously as expected, the film illustrates a few stereotypes. For example, when Florrr's (played by Paz Vega) cousin, Cecilia hit the sliding glass door and her nose bled, the wife Deborah Clasky (played by Tia Leone) offered her money instead. It's sad but true in today's society.

But what make the film interesting are its subtleties. For instance the casting and the characters itself. The producers could have hired a blonde blue eyed male lead instead of Adam Sandler, but they did not. Why? Because Sandler's character (John Clasky) is an antithesis of the wife, Deborah Clasky. She's blonde blue eyed superficial, emotionally disturbed, patronizing, solipsistic, white housewife, who the writer ( Brooks )probably wants to portray as the epitome of everything that is bad about white people - or Americans for that matter (however exaggerated they portrayed her to be). You can empathize with the husband's character and Adam Sandler played it very well. It's interesting to note, the husbands character's last name is Clasky - possibly his ancestors were immigrants as well. And his character is portrayed as someone who "gets it", someone who understands Florrr - an immigrant mother who wants her daughter raised with her own values and integrity even though she is only a lowly servant to the Clasky's.

One of the interesting scenes in the film that I found very clever was the argument between Florrrr and John. It showed the two sides of the dynamic. While I was watching it I thought to myself, any other individual would immediately apologize and patronize the immigrant housemaid in the expense of goodwill. But I was surprised that Sandler's character actually called her a "hypocrite" instead, and she realized he has a point. Not to criticize her (it's probably what Deborah would have done) would be hypocritical as well. This is another social commentary that was written very well and cleverly portrayed in the film.

The acting is equally superb. You could just hate some of the characters specially the housewife and the daughter Cristina Moreno (played by Shelbie Bruce). You can just empathize with Adam Sandler's character and his daughter, Bernice. The only people amongst the Claskys that is very adult. The grandmother's character on the other hand (played by Cloris Leachman ) whose always drinking provides a respite to the insanity in the story and ironically always the unobtrusive and yet emphatic character despite how she lived her life. In the end she was the voice of reason for the wife.

Equally, the dialogue is worth mentioning. Interestingly, there are no subtitles on all the Spanish spoken dialogue but the audience can kind of get the gist of what's being said or argued. It can be distracting to some audiences but thankfully, Florrr's character learned to speak English in the second half of the film. Also, the Spanish without subtitles added a few good scenes in the film and added a positive credence to the title SPANGLISH. It illustrates how to write the quintessential part of the screenplay without making it too cliché.

Overall, I liked this film. If you can look at it in the same light as I saw the film, you would enjoy it too and find it cleverly written and directed. Otherwise, it could be a little slow and the dialogue can be a little bit distracting. It doesn't help some of it is in Spanish and Adam sandler's character cannot express himself very well verbally.


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