Cultural Parenting
Review Review by Ross Anthony

Caution to Adam Sandler fans: This is not a typical silly Adam Sandler movie. In fact, though it has comedic moments, it's really more of a drama. Except for some beefed up Hollywood soapy stuff, it's quite a sweet quaint tale told by a 17-year-old Mexican girl about her caring, strong-willed, beautiful mom. The story follows mother and daughter from Mexico to Los Angeles, spending most of its time on Flor's (the mother's) interaction with her rich American bosses. (She's their live-in maid.)

Tea Leoni gives a fantastic performance as the wealthy, neurotic, over-exercised, perfectionist mom. Forget about Sandler, sure he's fine, really. But he bends himself to fit this role. And forget about Paz Vega who supposedly the film is about. It's Leoni that pumps vitality into the project. She and Sarah Steele (who plays her daughter) are responsible for the picture's most emotionally charged scenes.

Though quite rich in the relational: mother-daughter, husband-wife, etc, the film never quite nails itself down. The quaint tale of the mother and daughter from Mexico and their cultural interactions in America gets lost behind the love triangle that ensues. Overall, some great lines, some great performances, some very very interesting relational topics, but un-quenching, seldom moving and simply not funny enough to be a comedy as the coupling of the title and the Sandler cast might imply.

  • Spanglish. Copyright © 2005.
  • Starring Adam Sandler, Tea Leoni, Paz Vega, Cloris Leachman, Shelbie Bruce, Sarah Steele.
  • Directed by James L. Brooks.
  • Screenplay by James L. Brooks.
  • Produced by James L. Brooks, Richard Sakai, Julie Ansell at Columbia/Gracie.

Grade..........................B (2/4)

Copyright © 1998-2022 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:54:09 PDT