Two Latina sisters accustomed to luxury and high style become penniless when their father dies, forcing them to move in with working class relatives, in this spirited comedy loosely based on Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility.
In this modern Sense and Sensibility retelling, two Mexican American sisters lose everything when their father dies, leaving them with a mountain of debt. They are forced to sell Casa Bonita,
their hilarious Mexican-themed restaurant beautiful Beverly Hills home to a long-lost half brother they never knew existed and his heinous, social climbing fiancée. After moving in with their poor, Mexican relatives in East LA, sensible, hardworking older sister Nora drops out of law school to support younger, selfish waste of space flightier sister Mary while she finishes her undergraduate degree. Can these two sisters overcome their differences, embrace their new life in East LA, and find love?
Camilla Belle as Nora Dominguez
Elinor is played by Camilla Belle, who you may recognize from some movies you’ve never seen, as well as several Taylor Swift songs. Camilla is pretty decent given the lackluster script she had to work with, but my big beef is how ORANGE they made her. Like, to show her Mexicanness (Belle is actually Brazilian-American), they felt the need to hose her down in spray tanner every morning when she got to set.
It’s not only terrifying what they’ve done to such a beautiful lady, but also a little offensive. Like she was too white to be considered Latina enough for the role, so they chose to make her look like an oompa loompa.
Alexa Vega as Mary Dominguez
Alexa Vega plays Marianne, and she also suffers from a touch of tanorexia, but it’s more in keeping with her vapid, completely heinous character. Alexa Vega was in such hits as Spy Kids, Spy Kids 2, Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over, and Sleepover, none of which I’ve seen. I’m still vaguely aware of her existence for some reason, and she does a good job making me hate Marianne, which is only the natural course of the world.
Wilmer Valderrama as Bruno
Wilmer Valderrama plays Colonel Brandon which is just… insane. Fez should never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever be cast in the same role which Alan Rickman once played. In fact, Fez should never be cast in any roles except for Fez. Right now, he is cast as Demi Lovato’s pervily old boyfriend in real life, and I don’t like it one bit.
Nicholas D’Agosto as Edward Ferris
However, Nicholas D’Agosto plays the role of Edward Ferrars. He looks kinda familiar, and according to IMDB, is in lots of things. He is SUPER ATTRACTIVE, in a neutered Edward Ferrars kind of way, which is perfect. Well played, casting directors, well played.
Couch-Sharing Capability: Slumber Party
This is a good movie to watch with the girls and a tray full of cookies, because it’s secretly kind of enjoyable but mostly you just want someone who will make snarky comments with you.
Recommended Level of Inebriation: High
You will need some serious margaritas to get through this movie, which is not surprising given the source material. Marianne Dashwood is a MONSTER. This incarnation of her is no different, and in fact she’s possibly worse than usual. For instance, despite having Mexican parents and living in a house full of Mexican servants, neither Dashwood girl has ever bothered to learn a word of Spanish. NOT ONE. Elinor, at least, recognizes that this is a little fucked up and starts to learn, but not Marianne. Marianne is all, “I’m an American, not a Mexican! Why would I want to speak Spanish or learn anything about my heritage?” Which makes me want to facepunch her CONSTANTLY. I recognize that there are some complex racial-economic issues tied up in being the children of certain immigrant groups, but COME ON. I WISH I had a cooler culture to celebrate. I WISH I grew up speaking a different language. My dad immigrated from Ireland when he was six and I will CLING TO MY IRISH HERITAGE WITH ALL MY MIGHT because even that is better than plain old boring mixed bag of American. If you don’t appreciate your cultural traditions, Marianne, please GIVE THEM TO ME BECAUSE I WILL APPRECIATE THEM FOR YOU.
Plus, Wilmer Valderrama. This this movie will be a lot more fun with some drunk heckling.
Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Medium
This movie isn’t GOOD by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s also not hilaribble (hilarious-terrible). However, I’m not going to rank it in the forgotten land of merely mediocre. Because in some ways, this movie does improve upon some critical flaws of the original, namely that Edward Ferrars is not such a complete toolbox. Plus, haven’t you always wanted to see Elinor get drunk on tequila while wearing traditional Mexican garb? Yes, yes you have.