Fun Movies for the Familia

Family Fun Night. Those three words bring images of Friday nights filled with board games, movies, and pizza to mind. If you try to find movies that you can enjoy with your family, I have curated a good list for you. I recently found some good movies that I hope you will like. This list features movies in Spanish or, if the story is in English, features Latinx actors.

COMO CAIDO DEL CIELO

For those that do not know, Pedro Infante is the cultural icon in Mexican history that defined for generations what it meant to be a man in the 19th century. He was handsome, charismatic, and a womanizer. This movie centers on the idea that Pedro Infante has been living in purgatory because his womanizing ways brought much pain to his family and the women that he pursued.

In this movie, Pedro Infante is sent back down to earth. This movies poses the question, could a womanizing former cultural icon return to earth, fix problems for his biggest fan, and earn entry into heaven? If you think that you have seen this before, you have. This movie is a Spanish version of Heaven Can Wait (starring Warren Beatty) and Down to Earth (starring Chris Rock.)

This movie features some excellent music. It is a fun, sad, and sweet film. It was enjoyable and I would recommend it for a family.

EAST SIDE SUSHI

This is a 2014 movie whose storyline features a Mexican-American woman who endeavors to break into a career that is plagued with racism and sexism. Sushi chef. Juana Martinez is a young woman raising a daughter and helping her elderly father in his later years. She embarks on a unique opportunity at a Japanese sushi restaurant.

A passionate cook herself, Juana begins to study the sushi chefs that work with her. One of her colleagues recognizes her potential and begins to teach her different sushi preparation techniques. This movie was excellent. It is a wonderful movie to watch with your children. It highlights the importance of hard work, perseverance, and self-worth.

LOWRIDER

This movie relies on the visual appeal of the California lowrider culture to tell a strong story. A father punishing himself for his past mistakes brought on by alcoholism. A son forgotten in prison and a brother trying to remember his mother while learning to define himself. It stars Eva Longoria, Demian Bichir, Gabriel Chavarria, and Theo Rossi.

The mother of the two young men has died. The father remarries. The oldest son is getting out of prison and the younger is trying to connect with his mother through his street art (graffiti.) The oldest son is angry at the father for never having visited him in prison. The youngest son is angry at the father because they never talk or remember the mother.

This movie does rely on the use of stereotypes, older son is gang affiliated, but there are some ways that it breaks from the mold. There are critical moments when each of these protagonist must face truths and accept responsibilities. But, overall, this is a good movie. It is a story about forgiveness and family. I enjoyed watching it. This movie does have some sexual content so you probably will not want to watch it with children younger than fourteen.

SUPER LOPEZ

Are you a fan of superhero movies? Are you interested in watching a Spanish language superhero movie? If so, I think you will like this film. This movies takes the Superman trope and makes it funny. Super Lopez is sent to Earth by his father and mother to prevent him falling in the hands of a villain. In this case, the super baby lands and is raised in Spain. Early on, Super Lopez wants to showcase his alien superhero skills. His father, a Spanish garage owner, explains to him that in Spain mediocrity is preferred. Super Lopez grows up to be a low level manager in a technology company.

Unfortunately, Super Lopez is chased to Earth by an alien supervillain who seeks to return him to the home planet for the purposes of turning him over to her father, the master villain. At age 30, he must achieve his super potential. Here, the story becomes extremely comical and endearing. I highly recommend this movie to all. This is a story that can be watched with children of all ages.

I hope this list of familia-friendly movies helps you find something to enjoy with your loved ones. Let me know what you think of these selections or recommend some movies for me to try!

Six Spanish Movies that will make you feel…

I am an avid consumer of popular culture. I love movies and television. In fact, it was thanks to American television growing up that I learned some of the finer nuances of American culture.

As an adult, nothing makes me feel connected to my Latin roots like Spanish based movies and music. If you, like me, like to use your Spanish skills to enjoy this type of media then here is a list to inspire you. This list includes movies from the 1980s to 2000s.

Like Water for Chocolate

Como El Agua Para el Chocolate is a 1992 film based on the 1989 novel by Laura Esquivel. This is an arthouse movie that is set during the Mexican Civil War of 1910.

This story is complex and beautiful. It is a deeply symbolic movie is about star-crossed lovers. It also features a highly toxic relationship between mother and daughter. There is some nudity so don’t be alarmed by the front nudity featuring major 80s bush.

Under the Same Moon

Bajo la Misma Luna is a 2007 journey’s hero movie focusing on a young boy. After the death of his grandmother who is raising him in Mexico, he travels unaccompanied to Los Angeles where he hopes to find his mother played by Kate Del Castillo. You will cry. That is… if you have a soul.

The Motorcycle Diaries

This movie came out in 2004 and it features one of my favorite actors, Gabriel Garcia Bernal. If you do not already know him, you are missing out. Garcia Bernal portrays a young Ernesto “Che” Guevara in this dramatic biopic. The movie is based on the real life events that led to Guevara’s enlightenment and acknowledgment of social injustice.

Belle Epoque

1992 movie.  I watched this movie when I was entirely too young! Belle Epoque is about a young Spanish Army deserter who has sex with four sisters. As sexist and gross as that sounds, this movie was actually highly acclaimed and features a young Penelope Cruz as Luz, the youngest sister who ultimately marries the adorable, army-deserting loser.

Love is a Bitch

Amorres Perros or  (2000). This excellent movie stars Gabriel Garcia Bernal in a dramatic ensemble about a people linked together by a horrific car accident. It is Crash before Crash came out.

Ladron Que Roba Ladron (2007)

This movie is a Robin Hood-esque, heist comedy. In addition to having a premise that will help you justify cheering for the “bad guy” robbers, you will enjoying Gabriel Soto’s beautiful body as he sweats and digs a tunnel.

What is your favorite Spanish-language movie?