22 March 2006 | kbailey555
Oh, dear. This movie is unintentionally one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. If it weren't so serious about itself, I'd put it in Christopher Guest territory. But unfortunately, this movie takes itself SO seriously that it can't see how flawed it is, both cinematically and practically.
The one scene that had my boyfriend and I rolling on the floor was the band practice with Antonio's first band. One minute the boys backing him up are in their own band, "on the way up." The next thing you know, they've let this Antonio kid come in and take over. In what we must assume is their FIRST practice, sweet, sincere Antonio turns into a complete asshole, actually SHOVING his brand new guitar player because he doesn't like the way the guy plays! Egos fly, it nearly comes to fisticuffs, but the "manager" steps in with a Brady Bunch speech and Antonio and his new guitar player shake and make up. None of this would EVER happen in a band. Never. Unless, of course, the band is comprised of retarded monkeys in heat. Then, it might happen.
This is just one of about a million cookie cutter clichés in the movie. Each and every scene in this movie is a "Ye Olde Shoppe" version of reality: of Mexican culture, of young love, of fear and uncertainty, of the desire to put something meaningful into the world, and all the other "human conditions." It's completely unbelievable, and what little charm it might have had is completely destroyed by the extremely limiting script, which tries to tell too many stories without an ounce of continuity or building of relationships.
Just like we never get to see Superman actually transform, we never get to see any of these characters develop, or fall in love. They simply state their "suenos" to the camera, step into a phone booth, and emerge transformed. Example: the big contest is three days away. In three days, Antonio finds a band, the band fires him, he finds another band, convinces his reluctant neighbor (a single mom with two kids) to join up, learns some original material, and then shows up at the audition just as they're supposed to go on, and then they get up their and play like they've been together seven years and have just emerged from having a nice quiet beer in the green room. Never happen.
A lot of the music was really great, though. But a lot of it was, again, stereotypes of music genres sung by Latinos, seemingly to prove to the world that Mexicans can be hip to rap, garage rock, cock rock, funk, and math rock. The overstating of it through clichés made it feel like a propaganda poster, and slightly offended my boyfriend, a rockabilly band front-man who also happens to be Mexican. He didn't know he had anything to prove.