Steffie’s away, I’m on vacation. So, Helaine and I went to the movies this afternoon. We saw the new Adam Sandler movie, Spanglish.
It was enjoyable, but not without some flaws.
The story, often told in narration, is based on a college entrance essay to Princeton. It is actually the story of two families. One, headed by Deborah and John Klasky (Tea Leone and Adam Sandler) is well off. The other, a mother and daughter, is headed by the Klasky’s housekeeper.
Adam Sandler has come into his own. This is a character he has developed over time, but for the first time played as a real grownup with a family, a business and the attendant responsibilities. His wife is neurotic, self centered, overbearing, out-of-touch with reality.
That Tea Leone plays it well, and funny, is a tribute to her skill, because I found the character less than likable.
The housekeeper, Flor, is played by Paz Vega. In real life as in the movie, she knew practically no English when the production began and learned as she went along. I thought that worked well.
In fact the best scene in the movie is an argument between Vega and Sandler which is simultaneously translated in both directions by her teenage daughter. This is one of those cases where perfect comedic timing made it happen.
Where the movie falls short is in the relationship between John and Flor. About halfway through the movie I realized, if this relationship was going to progress as it seemed it would, romantically, Tea Leone’s character would have to be hurt. I had trouble with that.
At 2:08, the movie was at least 20 minutes too long. The pre-show was a little too long as well. The movie was scheduled to begin at 3:45 but didn’t get going until after 4:00 PM because of commercials, announcements and coming attractions.