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To be fair, Sandler is hampered by a very one-dimensional character – the perpetual Mr.Nice Guy – despite Flor’s witty observation that “he seemed to have the emotions of a Mexican woman.” Also, I buy Deborah’s dysfunction, but I don’t see any resolution.And while that is done every day, all over America, there are few who would say that it works, or that anyone lives happily ever after.Aiming for a cultural clash, as the title promises, Brooks instead gives us a heartwarming tale – his specialty – with an important message.” Deborah’s mother, Evelyn (Cloris Leachman), a former jazz singer and alcoholic, lives with the family and makes very astute observations, despite her inebriation.Flor vows to not get personally involved with the family, but after Deborah humiliates Bernice by buying clothes that are too small, in yet another failed attempt to coax her into losing weight, Flor secretly alters the clothes and presents them to the teen. The family heads to a rented Malibu home for the summer, and Deborah, who is too busy having an affair to notice the heated looks between her husband and gorgeous housekeeper, invites Flor and Christina to stay with them for the summer.Having successfully ignored her own children for years (including her almost invisible son), Deborah latches onto Christina and tries to turn her into a pint-sized version of herself.This lights a fire under Flor, who may not speak English, but who is no Then, of course, there’s the little matter of how frequently Deborah has left Flor and John together, to work out their problems, on the beach, in the Malibu moonlight, while everyone else is sleeping. Brooks (“Terms of Endearment,” “Broadcast News”) hasn’t had a huge hit since his 1997 “As Good As It Gets,” so he’s aiming for the outfield with this film, which has interesting characters and very droll dialogue, something Brooks excels at.
One can’t help but wonder how much Brooks was influenced by his recent divorce.
His other characters, however, are insightfully drawn. S.) Vega is pitch-perfect in every way, and her beauty is highlighted by close-ups and flattering key lights.
As a dirt-poor, super-fit, non-English-speaking, Mexican maid who wears the same sweater as wealthy Deborah, she is totally improbable, but just as likeable. This film is hers, 100 percent, and she deserves every ounce of celebrity that is hurtling her way.
When John interacts with Bernice, he hits perfect notes.
But when he learns of his wife’s affair, he seems lost.