Bella

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Posted October 26, 2007 in Film

Right wing pundits argue that Latino immigrants do jobs we wouldn’t want to do. Alejandro Gomez Monteverde’s preposterous drama inadvertently takes Ann Coulter-speak to the extreme. Eduardo Verastegui stars as Jose, a soccer star who killed a small girl in a hit-and-run. Having lost his $2.2 million career, but gained enlightenment about the value of small frys, Jose now works as a cook at his brother Manny’s (Manny Perez) restaurant. He’s gone from getting swamped by autograph seekers to walking invisibly through the NYC streets as just another Mexican in a spattered chef’s jacket. But after Manny fires whiny pregnant waitress Nina (Tammy Blanchard), Jose finds his true calling: Jesus of the downtrodden, complete with the bearish beard Monteverde must have made his leading man grow when his model good looks (he’s one of People en Español’s 50 Most Beautiful) made it impossible to believe he wouldn’t just put down the spatula and call up Richard Avedon. Nina wants to abort; Manny wants to distract her with a trip to the beach. Pardon my spoiler alert, but Monteverde’s pro-life heart warmer wants us to swallow that the best solution for Jose’s guilt and Nina’s maternal apathy is that she gives her child to a near stranger whose most intimate exchange with her until now was “Order up.” (In his epilogue, he dresses the child in the same pigtails as the deceased as though he’s garnishing his blue-plate baby special.) Corn smothered in queso, this sentimental hokum sticks in your throat. (Amy Nicholson) 

 


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