Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Spanglish (2004)

IMDb plot summary: 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.
Directed by James L. Brooks. Starring Adam Sandler, Tea Leoni, Paz Vega, and Cloris Leachman.

You know what was good about this movie? Pretty much everything that wasn't Adam Sandler. I just can't warm to the guy, and I can't buy him as a nice person. I admit this is entirely a personal bias, and I don't really know where it comes from (since it's apparently not restricted to his comedies), but even when he was being nice in this movie I still kind of wanted to punch him in the face.

It's really a shame, because this is a fascinating script with some great acting from everyone else and some REALLY interesting characters. Tea Leoni in particular drew my attention as a seriously, seriously flawed woman with deep-seated depression and anxiety which led to her horribly screwing up a LOT of relationships. (I also really liked both the daughters -- scripted and acted beautifully.) I just wish anyone else but Sandler had been cast in his role so I could enjoy the movie more. As it was, I think it's a mostly great movie and I liked EVERY part of it where Sandler wasn't around. So I'm going to give it a low 4 stars and try to pretend he wasn't in it.

4 stars.

Flickchart: #533 out of 2148, below A Clockwork Orange and above Mean Girls.

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