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(Jul 08, 2009)
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Monica (Iyari Limon "Buffy the Vampire Slayer") is a clown with a terrible sense of humor. She yearns for a better life, but has always set aside her dreams for others.
Her older brother, Omar (Jaime Aymerich "Un Secreto de Esperanza"), landed in jail for theft. Now a freeman, Omar returns to his girlfriend and daughter for a second chance.
Her best friend, Lily (Brenda Romero "Desert Blood"), is a prostitute and her lifestyle leads her into trials and tribulations.
Her boyfriend, well actually she doesn't have a boyfriend but she would like it to be Mario (Manuel Garcia Rulfo "Valle de Lagrimas"). Mario is a used car salesman and with his good looks cheats women for their money.
This ensemble of characters has found themselves in the crossroads of life where they need to choose a new path.
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I've always been a fan of television shows and films with strong/interesting female leads. And Monica is definitely one of those people. She's the type of friend that I, and anyone, would love to have: sweet, caring, thoughtful, supportive and funny (in her own way lol). She's got so much more potential in her than she might realize, definitely more than the car dealership clown. Watching the film, seeing what surrounds her life, her friends and family, I could understand why she sticks around that small town. And in some ways, I could relate to her. I often wonder what more I'm capable of if I put my mind to it. But often, I find my friends and family mean much more to me than anything else.
As a smaller budget dark comedy, it was an interesting film. A pleasant change from all the big budget super-fx laden Hollywood films I tend to watch. It's always nice to take a break from all that and focus on actual storytelling and characters you can love. Another thing I enjoyed, on a personal level, were some of the Mexican cultural references, such as a scene with Monica and her niece where they play a quick game of "La Viejinez", a game that I used to play with my friends as a kid and now had almost forgotten about. So it was a nice flashback moment for me. The film was filmed on location in Jacumba, a border town in Southern California. And it definitely has that border town feel to it, a mix of Mexican/spanish and American/english influences.
I look forward to seeing what's ahead from the writer/director Marcial Rios Salcido.