Once upon a time there was a largely Hispanic L.A. neighborhood
called Echo Park that began to acquire an aura of hip. Wherever do
such things come from? No one knew, but before long, the occasional
scruffy artist renting the apartment above the corner convenience store was replaced by a steady stream of graphic designers, TV producers, writers and worse of all, aspiring filmmakers, all bidding over asking price for low-slung houses in the hills.
Yes, worst of all. Directors Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland have professed their film to be a kitchen sink drama; unfortunately, they approach their subjects with a covetous air of cultural anthropology and no warmth or understanding at all (though that didn’t bother the crowds at Sundance; the film won both the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize). Appropriately enough, the only storyline that sometimes rings true is the one in which the two have placed apparent stand-ins for themselves â€” as a couple with a taste for Latino boys who takes up Carlos (a very good Jesse Garcia) for the occasional threesome until emotional entanglements ensue.
Opens in limited release today.
+ QuinceaÃ±era (Sony Pictures)