Spanglish Movie Review

Because this movie is so correlated with learning English and the difficulties associated with communicating in a second language, we had one of our more advance students review it. David is a first year university student at CUHK and he never did very well in English class during his high school years. He mentioned that he watched this movie recently so we thought it would be a good idea to test him by getting him to do up a review. Here is what he came up with:

Spanglish – A movie about Language and Communication Difficulties

If you’re a fan of Adam Sandler’s comedies, it’s well worth checking out “Spanglish”. “Spanglish” is a humorous tale, which shows what can happen when two families from different cultures end up living under the same roof. In “Spanglish” John and Deborah, a well to do couple, who are played by Adam Sandler and Tea Leoni, decide to let their feisty housekeeper Flor, who is a single mom, and her young daughter, move into their home.

If you’re not easily offended by cultural stereotypes and are looking for a light hearted comedy, you can’t go wrong watching “Spanglish”. Much of the film’s comedy is a result of the fact that Flor, who is played by Paz Vegas doesn’t speak English and can only speak in Spanish. Worse yet, John and Deborah don’t speak a word of Spanish. This means that communication between Flor and her hosts, is often lost in translation. As well as speaking different native languages, John and Deborah and Flor also disagree over each other’s parenting techniques. This is because what may seem like a normal parenting technique to a Hispanic mother, seems alien to someone raised in the USA, and vice versa.

If you have immigrant parents or have parents from two different cultures, you’ll be sure to relate to some of the scenes that play out in “Spanglish”. Also, If you think Paz Vegas looks a little familiar, her face may remind you of her famous doppelganger Penelope Cruz. During the movie despite struggling to communicate effectively, John and Flor soon form a romantic attachment to each other. However, it seems like John and Flor may just be using their attraction as a distraction from their mounting personal problems.

If you’re looking for a romantic cemedy or something with a ton of gags, you may be a little dissapointed as “Spanglish” is more a family comedy than a romantic comedy. So don’t expect the film’s heroes, who have their families to think of, to ride off into the sun set together. “Spanglish” is more a realistic, bittersweet take on a romantic comedy, where both individuals learn from spanglishtheir time with each other but ultimately decide to put their loved ones ahead of their own desires. If you’re looking for a comedy, that tackles real life issues in a light hearted manner, you may fall in love with “Spanglish”. Or at least relate to “Spanglish”, in one way or another. People such as myself who are not native speakers are are still learning English will definitely understand some of the issues brought up in the film.

If you’re concerned that you won’t warm to two individuals who contemplate breaking up their families, you’ll be surprised as both Adam Sandler and Paz Vega come across as being well meaning, likable individuals who care deeply for their children. Whilst “Spanglish” may not be as popular as some of Adam Sandler’s most popular films such as “50 First Dates” and “the Wedding Singer”, it’s still an entertaining film and worth watching on a rainy night in. I rate it 7 out of 10.

– David Tang

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