Bella Alejandro Monteverde

Bella Alejandro Monteverde
Here is yet another film "inspired by true events” that never once seems to feature actual human behaviour. And while its story of a broken soccer player who rebuilds his life around an unplanned pregnancy has good intentions to spare, they never amount to much more than fuzzyheaded, nice-guy fantasising. Eduardo Verastegui is the footie star in question who after an undisclosed tragedy, finds himself depressed and running the kitchen in his mean brother’s Mexican restaurant. His salvation comes when waitress Tammy Blanchard is fired and he walks away to give her a hand — she’s pregnant and considering an abortion. This being an uplifting drama, you can figure out what decision she makes, and the rest of the movie is about our hero’s cloying redemption, confession and sad, sad expressions. The problem is mostly that people in this movie are either super-duper sweethearts or like that obnoxious resto owner. Hard edges do not exist and Hallmark sentiments fly fast and furious; it’s a bizarre state of affairs considering the emotionally fraught subject matter. I’m not asking that this thing be Ken Park, and I can’t argue with the fact that the mission was to create some Latino characters that weren’t drug dealers and criminals. But this mealy-mouthed movie goes too far in the opposite direction — people are such model citizens (and life forces, and remorseful puppy dogs) that they’re no more human than the average thug on Miami Vice. Extras include a frank interview with Verastegui with Toronto critic Richard Crouse, an entirely average "making of” featurette, a heartfelt speech by Verastegui at the White House (it was National Adoption Day) and a couple of interviews with various musical personnel. (Seville)