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Spanglish (2004)

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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.

Director:

James L. Brooks

Writer:

James L. Brooks
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4,600 ( 183)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Adam Sandler ... John Clasky
Téa Leoni ... Deborah Clasky
Paz Vega ... Flor
Cloris Leachman ... Evelyn
Shelbie Bruce ... Cristina
Sarah Steele ... Bernice
Ian Donovan Hyland ... Georgie (as Ian Hyland)
Victoria Luna ... Cristina (six years old)
Cecilia Suárez ... Monica (as Cecilia Suarez)
Ricardo Molina ... Flor's Husband
Brenda Canela ... Luz
Eddy Martin ... Fourteen-Year-Old Boy
Nicole Nieth Nicole Nieth ... Hostess at Fancy Restaurant
Jamie Kaler ... Businessman
James Lancaster ... Businessman
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Storyline

John Clasky is a devoted dad whose skills as a chef have offered his family an upscale life, including a summer home in Malibu. Flor, who emigrated from Mexico, along with her daughter, Cristina, is hired by the Clasky's as a live-in housekeeper. Flor soon 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Sony Pictures

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

17 December 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Espanglish See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,817,853, 19 December 2004, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$42,044,321, 30 January 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Adam Sandler turned down the role of Max in Collateral (2004) to do this film. See more »

Goofs

When John Clasky is making his late night sandwich, in the first shot the fried egg is on top of the bacon, and the lettuce is on top, in the next shot, the egg is on top of the lettuce. 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

Referenced in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.5 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Ima Showem
Written by Teron Carter, Stacy Jones, Ric Robbins and Otto Price
Performed by The Grits
Courtesy of Gotee Records
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting Social Commentary - SPANGLISH?
30 December 2004 | by kvonnegutSee 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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