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A Comedy With A Language All Of Its Own 

Year: 2004 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from Spanglish

From director Brooks (As Good As It Gets) comes this romantic comedy centring on the relationship between Hispanic mother Flor (Vega) and her daughter Cristina who move to California in search of a better life. Flor finds work as a housekeeper for the Clasky family: calf chef father John (Sandler), neurotic and clueless mother Deborah (Leoni) and bemused children Bernice and Georgie. Flor struggles to understand their dysfunctional family, but this is the least of her worries when she realises Cristina is becomingly increasingly Americanised, especially under Deborah’s influence and worries her daughter is losing her true identity. Sure enough, there is a spark between Flor and John and through a period of miscommunication and heartbreak, a tender romance begins to grow.

This film is far from perfect, and often falls into a typically predictable pattern.  However, it does have more depth than the usual romcom, and there are some genuinely touching and original moments. It does not have as many laugh out loud moments as films like those from the Richard Curtis hit factory, but I particularly liked Georgie’s singing. Of the cast, Shelbie Bruce as Clasky daughter Bernice particularly stands out while ever-reliable Sandler plays it suitably sweet and humble and Leoni does her job of making us dislike her.
Like most romantic comedies, this was never going to go down in film history as a classic. However, it does its job and is a perfectly good way to spend a couple of hours.

Hannah Upton

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Screenings of this film:

2004/2005 Summer Term (35mm)
2004/2005 Summer Term (35mm)