A Day Without a Mexican (2004)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Fantasy  |  21 May 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.7/10 from 2,764 users   Metascore: 30/100
Reviews: 97 user | 22 critic | 11 from Metacritic.com

When a mysterious fog surrounds the boundaries of California, there is a communication breakdown and all the Mexicans disappear, affecting the economy and the state stops working missing the Mexican workers and dwellers.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Aunt Gigi
Talk Show Host
Ellen Abercombie (as Melinda R. Allen)
Frankie J. Allison ...
Oficer Carr (as Frankie Jay Allison)
Undocumented 1
Lila Rodriguez
Officer Sanchez
Arell Blanton ...
Cassidy Paige Bringas ...
Tracy Abercrombie
Brian Brophy ...
Barney Montana
Pilar Camporredondo ...
Lila's Mom (as Maria Camporredondo Neeley)


A thick fog surrounds California's borders, communication beyond state lines is cut off, and the Mexicans disappear: workers, spouses, and business owners are missing. Cars are abandoned in the street, food is left cooking on the stove. We meet the wife of a musician who's gone, a state Senator whose maid doesn't show up for work, and a farm owner whose produce is ripe and unpicked. A scientist asks any Mexicans who haven't disappeared to volunteer for genetic experiments: a female newscaster and the daughter of the musician may be the only missing links around. Why them? And where have all the Mexicans gone? Even the border guards grieve. The state and its economy grind to a halt. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


On May 14 there will be no Mexicans in California.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and brief sexuality | See all certifications »



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Release Date:

21 May 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dzien bez Meksykanów  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$619,976 (USA) (14 May 2004)


$4,175,179 (USA) (19 November 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


The scenes on the empty San Diego streets were shot on 1 January, when there are few people about, because the production was unable to pay for closing them. See more »


When Senator Abercombie is declaring a state of emergency and telling the reporters the military is conducting reconnaissance missions, the F-16 shown flying into the fog has Washington (state) Air National Guard markings on it. See more »

Crazy Credits

Disclaimer: "No Mexicans were harmed in the making of this film". See more »


Referenced in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip: The Christmas Show (2006) See more »


La Vida Es Un Camote
Written by Sergio Arau
Performed by Sergio Arau
Imaginary Friend Publishing, Administered by Universal Publishing Latino
See more »

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User Reviews

Fantasy meets mockumentary with a dash of pop up video.
2 May 2005 | by (Southern California) – See all my reviews

A Day Without a Mexican contains, quite possibly, the most unique and effective employment of a fantasy element I've ever seen.

While I'm not sure how much impact this film has on people who aren't from, or at least very familiar with, life in California, I think it speaks massive volumes all while maintaining a very witty and fun sense of humor about itself. While it gets over-dramatically silly, it is SPOT ON about the capability of Californian behavior (and I say that as a third generation Southern Californian who was raised, in part, by a German/Mexican stepmother).

I've noticed complaints about bad acting and/or writing in this film. The writing itself is strong, the dialogue is funny, and the cultural jokes are bordering on perfection. The acting did leave room for improvement, but that's standard in independent films that boast such a major societal commentary.

This is not the kind of film that's going to mean everything to everyone. It's geared toward a specific audience, which seems to include me, as I quite enjoyed this picture.

If you want a movie that'll, at the very least, raise some discussion, check it out.

23 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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