** 1/2 / ****
Dir: Sergio Arau
2004 Color English/Spanish
Rated R for language and brief sexuality.
One day Californians wake up to find that all the Latinos are gone. Just up and vanished. Worse yet, there is a thick fog around the state that prevents people from contacting the rest of the world. Mixed reactions abound. Family members are mourning the loss of their kin and close friends. Stereotypical bigots are happy, and lawmakers are just trying to make themselves look better in the process. At the hear is Lila, a reporter for a local news station who appears to be the only Latino left. Can she save California and bring back the 14 million missing people?
I heard this movie was a biting satire about the way Latinos are perceived and taken for granted in California. Some people call this movie racist because it employees stereotypes to get its point across. I found it to be a mixed bag. I liked most of the humor and over-the-topness of the situation, but at the same time thought the moviemaking quality of the movie was just bad. Now granted, it is an independent film, but there really was no performance that I could relate to and get drawn into the picture. As a result, the movie seemed more like a string of sequences thrown together than a coherent story.
I can’t really recommend this movie, but I do know that the majority of the audience was Latino, and they were also laughing a bits here and there and looking at their watches a lot.