WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A guy (Hernandez) and a girl (Dunst) from the other side of their respective tracks, meet, flirt, date and eventually fall for one another, despite the negating outside sources of their relationship. She's the rich, nutty daughter of a congressman and he's the son of a Mexican mom trying to do the best for her family. Much craziness and beauty ensues.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Kirsten Dunst is all growns up and I for one, and damn happy to see her there. Wow...talk about a crossroads in someone's career! (it's looking good for you, girl!) Excellent portrayal of a little girl lost, trying to find herself, attempting to mend her life and family, and falling in love, all at the same time. Kirsten gives us all the emotion needed to feel for her character, all the charm in the world to adore her character and all the angst needed to relate to her as well. She's also got to be applauded for giving up such a raw performance (I'm talking about very little vanity in this film, folks), with little fancy-wear, little make-up, lots of flip-flops and many a "hangover" look. Congrats...you've successfully crossed to the other side. I also gotta give it up to her co-star, Jay Hernandez, who despite having the less "involved" role of the two (he's the "beautiful"), does well and gives us someone to cheer for as well.
And why am I talking more about the stars of this movie, rather than the story? Well, I think we've all seen the tale of "forbidden love" in a zillion different incarnations, so this one's not breaking any originality records on that front, but I really enjoyed this flick despite that, and much of that had to do with the chemistry between the two leads, the sincerity which they displayed together on-screen and the emotions that they were able to stir up with their loving story (yeah, yeah...I gulped real hard near the end). Granted, the movie plays a lot more like a MTV music video at times and I don't think I've ever witnessed a more "fun-loving" couple on screen (damn kids, I wanted to be a part of your relationship myself!), but it does the job with sincere and effective performances from its leads, who don't give in to the easy cliches of their environment and create three-dimensional characters for whom the audience ultimately cares.
There is an audio commentary featuring both the director John Stockwell and Kirsten Dunst (yay!), which is a pretty decent listen, with no dead time and lots of giggles and honesty from Dunst (she actually tells of certain things that she didn’t like in the movie, including the lame-ass title…gotta love her). Interesting tidbits: lead actor Jay Hernandez doesn’t speak Spanish in real-life, 60% of the people in the film had never been in front of a camera before and most importantly, apparently Dunst was a virgin at the time that she met director Stockwell for the part in this movie (he blurts this out at one point, and she’s quite embarrassed about it…pretty funny!).
“Blurring Fiction and Reality” is a 15-minute “making of” the movie, but not really the entire movie. It actually just focuses on the three “real” kids that were hired to play Jay’s Mexican friends. Kinda weird, to be honest with you (why call it a “making of”?) It was somewhat interesting, but I would have preferred some info on how Jay Hernandez actually snatched the lead role and more stuff with Kirsten (she’s adorable). Still cool to see though.
There are 5 deleted scenes on this DVD (and nope, the rumored Kirsten Dunst nudie sequence is nowhere to be found...damn the world!), which can be watched with or without commentary from director Stockwell. The scenes are pretty long, about 10 minutes in all, but also obvious as to why they were deleted. They feature mostly “gangbanger” type stuff, and seeing as the film concentrated more on the relationship, this seemed out of place. There are also two sneak peeks here, but let’s just call them what they really are…which is trailers! Two Disney flicks: JUST VISITING and DOUBLE TAKE. You can also check out this film’s own trailer with commentary from the director.
One of the things that continually fuels my love for movies are the surprises which it tends to throw my way every now and then, and this film is a perfect example of just that. I expected a goofy, teeny-weeny fluffy MTV romance flick for the kids, but got a pretty intense look at grown-up Kirsten Dunst, in a dramatic relationship with a serious-minded boy with dreams of his own. Toss in some "family issues" and you've got yourself a pretty effective human drama (but admittedly, the MTV "feel" is still present). The extras and audio commentary are also pretty solid, making it an all-around decent pick for anyone interested in the genre.