Starring: Adam Sandler, Téa Leoni, Paz Vega, Cloris Leachman, Shelbie Bruce
Directed by: James L. Brooks
The trailer showed that Spanglish wasn't going to be a typical Adam Sandler movie, and I'm a big fan of director James L. Brooks' last film As Good As It Gets, so I figured it would be worth checking it out. It was worth checking it out, but it wasn't quite for me.
The film obviously isn't advertised as an "Adam Sandler movie", it is billed as Adam Sandler's movie (if you don't understand the distinction, leave a comment and I'll explain it further). That was a bit deceptive. He is featured prominently in the movie, and gives a good performance when he is, but the movie isn't about his character. Sure, they do a good job showing his interactions with his wife, his children (especially his daughter), and their housekeeper.
Even the movie poster is deceptive. Look at the tagline beside Sandler, "Every family has a hero". Sandler, as the film's biggest star, is featured at the centre of the poster, thus suggesting that he is the hero of the family. However, the hero of this story is not Sandler, nor is it his wife, played by the film's second biggest star, Téa Leoni. The hero is the aforementioned housekeeper, Flor Moreno, played by Spaniard actress Paz Vega in her first American role. It is her story that centres the film, it is she that is the lynch pin of all the subplots and themes of the movie.
The main theme of the film, the true heart of the film, does not involve Sandler at all. At its heart, Spanglish is a movie about the relationships between mothers and daughters. I think it was the right story to pursue, and I think the movie does a good job developing it. But, it's not exactly my kind of story; hence, it wasn't quite for me.
Simply put, Spanglish is a chick flick through and through. Kim bawled her eyes out watching it and really liked it. I found it a little charming and tolerable. So to the fellas out there, take your lady to this and be a hero, it won't be so hard to get through, and it will make it easier to drag her to a guy flick, like Sin City. Since it wasn't made for me, I find it hard to grade Spanglish, so I'll give it a solid 3.5 out of 5 and leave it at that.