tek's rating: ½

Quinceañera (R)
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It begins with the quinceañera of a girl named Eileen, but the movie isn't about her, nor about her quinceañera. In fact, most of the movie has nothing to do with that tradition. There is a sort of segue into the main plot, because Eileen's cousin, Magdalena, is going to have her own quinceañera in June (which I think is a few months after Eileen's, it's not exactly clear when that was). And the movie ends with Magdalena's quinceañera, though we barely get a glimpse of it. Mostly, the movie is about what happens in between the two events. It soon turns out that 14-year-old Magdalena is pregnant, which is deeply disturbing to her deeply religious father. (Before that, he was upset that she wanted a limo for the party, like Eileen had, which he thinks is too materialistic... and I honestly believe that had nothing to do with the fact that he couldn't really afford it. But anyway... I guess now he's got bigger concerns.) Magdalena has a boyfriend named Herman, who seems like a decent kid. But apparently, they never quite had sex, which of course her father doesn't believe. (Incidentally, I do find it interesting that her name is somewhat Biblical, even if she's not named Maria... but I find it really hard to imagine her father would have named her after Mary Magdalene.) So anyway... Magdalena runs away.

She goes to stay with her uncle Tomas (actually her great great uncle, and just a pretty great guy), who already had Magdalena's cousin Carlos living with him, after Carlos had been kicked out of his parents' home. Tomas rents his place from a gay couple, Gary and James, with whom Carlos becomes involved. (It seems his father had kicked him out for being gay, though he also apparently had some delinquent tendencies, the specifics of which aren't really clear.) Anyway, that situation... gets complicated. And... I don't want to say any more about the plot. Anything more would be spoilers.

Um, so, it's not a great movie, but it was pretty decent. I actually cared about the three main characters (Magdalena, Carlos, and Tomas). I'm not happy about something that happens with Herman, which I don't think was really resolved (I can't help wondering if he had no choice in the matter, which I'm not going to explain). But for the most part, the movie was a nice little slice-of-life story, I guess. (Oh, and incidentally, I watched it on Cinco de Mayo, and it turns out there was a brief scene in which the characters celebrated that holiday, so I feel justified in my choice to do so.) And I guess that's all I have to say.

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