Under the Same Moon Movie Review
Patricia Riggen's Under the Same Moon takes the song's phony concept even further. It swipes the faux sentimentality of "Somewhere" and duct tapes it to our nation's very real border-crossing dilemma. It pretends to address a serious issue but ends up degrading an entire race.
The sad sacks sleeping under Riggen's moon are nine-year-old Carlos (Adrian Alonso) and his beloved mother, Rosario (Kate del Castillo). She's an illegal immigrant cleaning houses in Los Angeles. He's a virtual orphan in Mexico caring for a sickly grandmother and fending off his greedy uncle. When granny kicks the bucket, Carlos finally sets out to cross the border and join mom in the City of Angels.
The child's obstacles amount to a string of poorly-written, obvious clichés that litter the road many travel from Mexico City to the southern United States. Screenwriter Ligiah Villalobos peppers Carlos with broadly drawn, grotesque (and, of course, non-Mexican) villains. Later she recruits Ugly Betty star America Ferrera for a ham-fisted confrontation at a border checkpoint. Why is it people smuggling immigrants into our country always are told they can proceed, only to be stopped seconds before crossing safely for a broken taillight or an expired registration?
Moon tells a glossy version of immigration, where surly (but kindhearted) vagabonds shepherd scared children to their mother's waiting arms. Moon is so safe it's dull, so predictable it's toothless, and so corny it's insulting.
Aka La Misma luna.
Anyone hiring a director?