Beatriz drives from Santa Monica south to Newport Beach, but we see her driving on the 101 Freeway in Agoura Hills, which is many miles northwest not only of Santa Monica but Los Angeles proper. See more »
Selma Hayek plays Beatriz a masseuse with a cordial relationship to a wealthy California socialite (Connie Britton as Kathy). When her car breaks down, Kathy suggests she stay for their dinner party. Kathy's husband (David Warhofsky) begrudgingly agrees in hopes that Beatriz will stay out of the way of his big client but chaos ensues when the big client, Doug Strutt (John Lithgow), proves to be an unapologetic blowhard and Beatriz turns out to be more expressive than expected. To make matters worse, Strutt might have built a hotel in Beatriz's Mexican hometown that demolished the local economy.
It's a clash of one of the haves and someone who was born out of the have-not sector and it's every bit as cringe-inducingly glorious as you would imagine if you like that style of humor.
Mike White (who has done a lot of interesting work including the TV show "Enlightened") writes an excellent screenplay that brings out the tension beautifully. A couple of major reviews have criticized the film for hitting its viewers over the head with class and race symbolism, but it's themes of the awkwardness inherent in dinner parties and other social gatherings among unfamiliar people of different stations is universal.
Connie Britton does great work as a legitimately compassionate person who just happens to be caught between two opposite personalities.
45 of 71 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this