As Magdalena's 15th birthday approaches, her simple, blissful life is complicated by the discovery that she's pregnant. Kicked out of her house, she finds a new family with her great-granduncle and gay cousin.
In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.
Romain is a very successful fashion photographer who's diagnosed with terminal cancer. He copes by being cruel and nasty to those he loves, until a visit with his grandmother changes his outlook. But, his boyfriend's moved out, now what?
Magdalena is 14 and anxiously awaiting her 15th birthday where she'll celebrate her quinceanara. Her world starts to crumble when she discovers her pregnancy after not being able to fit in her gown for her quinceanara. Soon, she's kicked out of her home, abandoned by her family, and abandoned by her baby's father. Magdalena is then taken in by her great-granduncle, Tomas and her gay, often-in-trouble cousin, Carlos. There she finds a new family and life. Written by
Because of time constraints, the producers had still not found an actor to play James just before shooting was set to start, so they asked the casting director, Jason L. Wood, to play the part, because they liked how he had read the part as the other side of dialogue during actors' auditions. Wood was hesitant to take an acting part because he was worried that it might be a conflict of interest with his career as a casting agent, but he finally relented when the producers assured him he wouldn't have to cry in the film. See more »
In the scene where Magdalena deletes the pictures of Herman, she is shown using a Boost i860 phone. When the screen of the phone is shown, it is clearly a Samsung A670 she is using. See more »
I think this movie will have universal appeal. This story of family learning to accept each other, along with coming of age, and changing urban centers will resonate with people around the country no matter whether they know what a quinceñera is or not.
The cast is mostly non-union, and the performances they give are brave and fresh. Three cheers for Emily Rios and Jesse Garcia, who played the leads, and cousins, who are struggling with acceptance from their parents, and take shelter with their elderly great-uncle.
I also saw this at Sundance, and the film got a standing ovation. I was surprised it took both the Grand Jury and Audience Awards, but not surprised it resonated on such a fundamental level with the cast.
Directors Wash Westmoreland and Richard Glatzer said they began writing the story on New Year's Day of 2005, and the entire thing came together fast - 3 weeks for financing, another three to film on their very own street of Echo Park.
I think it's specific enough to interest people, and universal enough to keep them watching.
25 of 36 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?