Tortilla Heaven Judy Hecht Dumontet

Tortilla Heaven Judy Hecht Dumontet
Presenting a decidedly idiosyncratic small town template in an effort to convey quirkily the evils of greed and corporate influence, Tortilla Heaven is certainly enlivening but also condescending to its rural denizens and far too strained in structure to succeed in its aims. With slack-jawed, archetypal buffoons running amuck in an entirely derisive manner, juxtaposed with a narrative need to identify and engage with said yokels, this tale of a blessed tortilla proves antipodal in execution, despite an affable and fully invested cast. Whimsy and charm either come naturally or stand out as dreadfully disingenuous, which, in truth, can be said for both cinema and inherent human characteristics. Woefully, this Faustian fable leans shakily on the side of insincere and contrived, regardless of its sunny message and disposition. Less discerning viewers may find amusement in the many sight gags and overt machinations, while others will have to wait patiently as the entirely predictable plot unfolds. As the title suggests, the film involves a tortilla that bears the face of Jesus, as discovered by Isidor (Jose Zuniga), a small restaurant owner in rural New Mexico, while everyone else is in church. When the tortilla seemingly repairs a vehicle and reanimates a pig, the town of kooky stereotypes, including eccentric nudist Petra (Olivia Hussey), horny senior citizen Adelfa (Lupe Ontiveros) and earnest police officer Everardo (George Lopez), become swept up in the excitement. Seeing opportunity, a mysterious stranger (Miguel Sandoval) arrives in the border town with financial advice and lengthy contracts for the naïve Isidor, which leads to greed and chaos in the once charming village. The DVD release includes no additional features, which is appropriately minimalistic given the film's implication that unnecessary excess is a product of Satan. (Seville)