“From Prada to Nada,” inspires through hardship

Sound the acoustic guitars, blast the trumpets and belt out “Cielito Lindo” like you’ve just joined the mariachi. There’s a reason to celebrate as director Angel Garcia makes his comeback after more than 10 years with the laugh-out-loud, cultured film “From Prada to Nada.”

The film begins in Beverly Hills with the palm trees shot straight up toward the azure. Louboutin sky-high heels hit the pavement credit cards are charged at multiple designer-brand stores.

Sisters Nora (Camilla Belle) and Mary Dominguez (Alexa Vega) enjoy their lives in their lovely abode until tragedy strikes. Without money or a father, the sisters are forced to move out of their Casa Bonita, and in with their aunt Aurelia Jimenez (Adriana Barraza) in the shadier parts of East Los Angeles.

They are sell their BMW, a few Prada bags and spend less time being pampered and more time with their family. While adjusting to a new lifestyle, they rediscover their Mexican roots and learn to embrace their heritage. 

Seeing the two in their quest to adapt becomes more than the usual chick-flick scenario. There is comedy, which helps alleviate the times when the characters encounter setbacks. Finding a job, grieving the death of their father, falling in love, betrayal, identity crisis, family secrets, and learning how to speak Spanish challenge them both mentally and socially. There are romantic scenes, which are not over done.

Based on Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility,” with a Latin twist, writers Fina Torres, Luis Alfaro and Craig Fernandez cook up a beautifully crafted dish with a unique, rich flavor and texture that must be seen and tasted. 

Belle and Vega constantly find themselves in real-life situations that are quite plausible and seeing them overcome their hardships feel inspiring.

With the supporting roles Kuno, Becker, Wilmer Valderrama and Nicholas D’Agosto, the story line unfolds nicely as the lives of these characters intertwine with the lives of Belle and Vega.

The cinematography captures the truth and essence of East L.A. and it looks beyond the dry patches of grass and trashed streets. It captures its beauty. The various multi-colored murals on walls — which tell different stories of struggle, beliefs and the traditions of their country — are all pieces that together give this film its enticing authenticity.

The music provided in this film is also a unique entity all on its own. The songs are an essential part of the motion picture as they enhance the feelings that the main characters experience during times of tribulation and times of commemoration.

The movie runs an hour and 47 minutes and worth the ticket price and just like Mexican food, when done by the professionals, it leaves you satisfied, content and wanting more.

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One Comment

  1. Great delivery. Ouystanding arguments. Keeep up the ggreat work.

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