A little improbably, the inspiration for Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmore-land’s film was the ‘kitchen-sink’ realism of Britain’s Free Cinema of the late ’50s and early ’60s. And yes, it does deal with ordinary folk facing fairly familiar predicaments, the dramatic tone is mostly low-key and there’s an unemphatic but persistent sense of the social and political dimensions of the narrative unfolding. Now and then, the film calls to mind the kind of safe-sex asides that marred, say, ‘Just Another Girl on the IRT’, but mostly its observations are deft, droll and persuasive enough for any proselytising not to be a problem. Touching, charming and very engagingly played, it offers perceptive insights into LA Latino culture as well as solid, slightly old-fashioned entertainment.
Cast and crew
David W Ross