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A Day Without a Mexican (2004)

Caroline Aaron , Tony Abatemarco , Sergio Arau  |  R |  DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Caroline Aaron, Tony Abatemarco, Melinda Allen, Frankie J. Allison, Fernando Arau
  • Directors: Sergio Arau
  • Writers: Yareli Arizmendi, Sergio Arau, Sergio Guerrero
  • Producers: Bruce A. Simon, Francisco González Compeán, Isaac Artenstein, Sergio Guerrero
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Xenon
  • DVD Release Date: November 9, 2004
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002VEZ3U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,749 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Day Without a Mexican" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

California awakens one day to discover that one third of its population has vanished. A peculiar pink fog surrounds the state and communication outside its boundaries has completely shut down. As the day progresses, it becomes apparent that the sole characteristic linking the missing 14 million is their Hispanic heritage.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 51 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Social satire really needs to be savage and not so subtle December 20, 2004
It is easy to think of Sergio Arau's 2004 film "A Day Without a Mexican" as a great idea poorly executed, especially when you check out the original 1998 short film version provided on the DVD. In both versions the citizens of California wake up one day and discover that all the "Mexicans" are gone. Actually, it is all the Latinos in the state, but as several people are quick to point out, everybody from South of the Border is a "Mexican," even if they come from Guatemala or some other place (like Israel or Armenia). "A Day Without a Mexican" attempts to show what would happen to California if suddenly one-third of its population disappeared.

But whereas the original short film sticks to the mocumentary approach, the full-length feature tries to be a real film as well. In addition to working in many of the bits from the original short film, Arau now includes several narrative threads following Caucasians with strong ties to missing Latinos: Mary Jo Quintana (Maureen Flannigan) is a school teacher whose husband and son have disappeared; State Senator Steven Abercombie III (John Getz) and his family have to overcome the loss of their maid (now they cannot get the peanut butter off the top shelf) and then he becomes the acting governor; and television news anchor Vicki Martin (Suzanne Friedline) is concerned about the station's missing weatherman. Then there is television news reporter Lila Rodriguez (Yareli Arizmendi, the co-writer and wife of the director), who would appear to be the only Latina who has not disappeared from California. Meanwhile, an eerie pink fog has surrounded the state, cutting it off from the rest of the world.

The result is a hit and miss proposition.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Moral Comedy March 28, 2005
The premise is as simple as it is ridiculous: California's day-laborers, domestic helpers and agricultural workers of hispanic descent are disappearing. Fast. The obvious consequences could be dismissed as farcical -- if less poignant. But the meaning is made quite real in ways personal as well as economic and political.

The story focuses on a young journalist's attempt to document the disappearances. There is a plot twist, which some may suspect a little before the end. The key themes of this movie could be summed up as (1) not all hispanics are Mexicans; and (2) some hispanics are not Mexicans. You'll understand why those are actually different statements after you see the movie.

The most remarkable thing about this movie is that it casts a bright light on often deliberately overlooked aspects of our uneasy relationship with our neighbors, without becoming preachy. Instead, infectious humor informs a border-defying humanity. Gringo's are not automatically painted as either Racist Neocons or Syncretic Liberals -- those these are certainly presented. Instead, each character is revealed through the deeds which define him.

Watch for the name of the band. I just about fell over laughing.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Taking Jabs At California Prejudices October 14, 2006
Trying to conceive of a "Left Behind" style film happening to a specific race in a specific State is pretty out there. But director Sergio Arau does so admirably in A DAY WITHOUT A MEXICAN.

Part comedy, part mockumentary, the film's liberal leanings are sure to turn some viewers off. Taking consistent jabs at prejudices (and hitting their target more often than not), the film takes on the premise that a strange, magical fog has surrounded California one fateful day, blocking all incoming and outgoing traffic, internet access, and all forms of communication. And this weird atmospheric disturbance has also taken away all of the Mexicans. The disruption to the Sunshine State is evident as fruit rots on trees, vegetable aisles in grocery stores go empty, and car wash patrons have to dry their own cars!

Lilia Rod(riguez) played by Yareli Arizmendi (LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE) is a televison news reporter who DOESN'T disappear. The supernatural phenomenon seems to have passed her by even though she's Mexican. Or is she? More unseen prejudices arise as we learn that most Anglos label anyone with a coppery-toned complexion as "Mexican." Lilia learns her true genetic heritage along the way but feels, in her heart, that she's Mexican and promptly vanishes in front of a televison audience.

John Getz (BLOOD SIMPLE) plays Senator Abercrombie who has to take on the position of California Governor Pro-Tem, as the current Governor and Lieutenant Governor were Mexican. Thrown into the spotlight, the new Gov has to deal with all of the chaos caused by the disappearances as well as the disruptions to his own household when their maid/nanny/cook vanishes.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good idea, horrible execution. March 11, 2005
When I heard about the concept of the film, I laughed. I looked forward to seeing this film and really wanted to like it, but I gotta say that I was disappointed by the final result.

ALL the characters in the film came across as charicatures, and that includes the Hispanic characters. Don't even get me started on the white characters. If this movie hadn't been made by a Hispanic person, this would have been called out a lot more.

The writing was TERRIBLE. NOBODY talks that way! NOBODY ever says stuff like that. The fact that the acting was even worse didn't help this fact.

The facts presented in the film were interesting, but I hate being clubbed over the head with stuff like that. They were all presented with the subtlety of an 18 wheeler speeding down a crowded sidewalk. Way too preachy.

It's a shame this movie was so bad. The idea was brilliant and there certainly was no lack of available matieral.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
a good movie
Published 1 day ago by trevor j. robinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye opener
I thoroughly enjoyed watching this movie as it is a eye opener to how many Hispanic people work at different food installations as well as other places of employment that we as a... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Samantha
4.0 out of 5 stars Good movie
I first saw this in Mexico several years ago, but I've never met anyone in the USA who has seen it. And you should. Read more
Published 6 days ago by J. Pretulaw
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thank you great service. Hard to find movie.
Published 1 month ago by Anna contreras
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very funny and realistic
Published 1 month ago by lillie
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
I did't like it
Published 2 months ago by Sylvia H Hernandez
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 3 months ago by Marco A Sampaio
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the movie
Awesome highly recomended!! It shows how it would be without them.. Its kind of sad how their life is.. Loved it
Published 4 months ago by Daniel Ventura
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Funny Movie!!
I enjoyed watching, it is a little off-beat, and lacking in some departments, but overall is worth the time spent watching.
Published 5 months ago by Jerry
2.0 out of 5 stars Mexi-CANT!
I wanted to see this movie for years. I was so disappointed. I thought this was supposed to be more of a comedy; even the cover of the DVD portrays it more funny than it was. Read more
Published 5 months ago by RZ
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