Bella

With so many films vying for space in our overcrowded cinemas, it’s puzzling that this ham-fisted 2006 tearjerker should be freed from the archives. It follows braying Mexican football also-ran Jose (Eduardo Verástegui) who, via generic tragic circumstances, has had to settle in as head chef of his brother’s New York eatery. Playing hooky so he can spend the day with recently pregnant, recently fired waitress Nina (Tammy Blanchard), he proceeds – in an eerie, softly-softly manner – to coax her out of a pencilled-in trip to the abortion clinic. Peddling its conservative agenda with all the subtlety of a juggernaut road race through a Welsh mining village, all the tears of sorrow and joy amount to little when the ‘solutions’ the film offers are so incoherent and narrowly focused. The dramatic set-ups are lowest-common-denominator soap opera fluff, and Monteverde’s decision to cross-cut snappily between parallel scenes makes it impossible to engage with characters. Blanchard’s mournful turn is better than the film, but it’s not enough.

Release details

Release date: Friday October 1 2010
Duration: 0 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Alejandro Monteverde
Screenwriter: Alejandro Monteverde
Cast: Eduardo Verástegui
Tammy Blanchard
Manny Perez