ERNESTO’S MANIFESTO is a sweet, sometimes funny story. Ernesto is a simple man who doesn’t need anything to be happy. He has a job, a girlfriend and a roof over his head, and that’s enough. However, in just one day he loses his job, then his girlfriend and then his apartment. After he gives a street musician his last bit of change, the musician tells Ernesto of a restaurant job. He gets the job, but needs a place to live. A quirky meeting with the owner leads to Ernesto staying at the owner’s guest house. However, when the owner dies, where will Ernesto go?
Though it could use more conflict, ERNESTO’S MANIFESTO is a sweet story. The title character is kind, compassionate, loyal, trustworthy, generous, and lives a simple life. There are two instances where dating couples live together, but the movie ends with a marriage ceremony. One character follows the Dali Llama’s false religion, but his beliefs don’t overshadow or take away from the movie’s positive messages. However, ERNESTO’S MANIFESTO has some foul language and cohabitation, so MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution.
(BBB, C, FR, LL, V, S, N, AA, MM):
Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Very strong moral worldview where the title character has a strong moral compass, title character is giving even when he has nothing, kind, compassionate, protective of things he loves, loyal, trustworthy, and shows the upside to a simple life, and other characters also have moral attributes of kindness and giving hearts, some light Christian elements where God is mentioned twice, one time a woman calls Ernesto “God sent,” a second reference talks about “God’s hands,” movie also ends with a marriage, plus some light false religion where one character returns to America after spending time with the Dali Llama and bases his decisions off his beliefs, but none of the other characters possess any of those same beliefs
16 obscenities, one obscene gesture, a couple instances of potty humor, and one instance where a man falls in a dumpster while trying to find something
A friendly pat on the face for a good idea, implied assault where a woman’s face is beat up by her boyfriend, and man takes hold of woman’s arm and won’t let go until he is arrested
An implied prostitute in one scene, two instances of dating couples living together, instances of women kissing a man on the cheek as a nice gesture, a few instances of a kiss on the lips by a dating couple who get married
No explicit sexual nudity, but upper male nudity as man takes a shower, woman appears in her bra and underwear, a group of girls appear in bikinis, woman’s midriff shown
Six instances of casual drinking or drinking at a party, one instance of an underage girl being peer pressured to drink, but a man sticks up for her and instead drinks everything so there’s nothing left for her to drink, though he in turn gets drunk, but it’s rebuked as the audience knows the man isn’t really a drinker in the first place
Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drugs; and,
A few parties have underage people at them, racist comments made towards Hispanic man throughout by one character, woman has a problem with greed and only wants to be with a rich man, that same character is also very rude and self-centered, one character steals from his workplace and blames the innocent title character, friends eat at the restaurant where title character works and tell his boss they had bad service when they didn’t get a free meal, and brief talk of a man being divorced.
ERNESTOS’S MANIFESTO follows a man named Ernesto, or as some people call him, Ernie. Ernie is a simple man who really doesn’t need anything to be happy. He has a job, a girlfriend, a roof over his head, and that’s enough for him. In just one day, everything changes. He loses his job, which makes his girlfriend break up with him, and in turn he loses his apartment.
As Ernie gives his last bit of change to a young man making music on the side of the road, the musician tells him of a restaurant that’s hiring. Javier, the manager, hires Ernie and immediately sees how hardworking and dedicated he is to his job. When he learns of Ernie’s situation, he offers the couch in his office for him to sleep. The only catch is Ernie can’t tell anyone, especially the man who owns the restaurant, Jerry.
After falling asleep, Ernie is woken by Jerry holding a bat and asking who he is and how he got inside. While Ernie tries to stay loyal to Javier and not get him into trouble, Jerry puts together what’s happened by himself. Instead of throwing Ernie out, he tells him he likes him and brings him back to his house. Jerry tells Ernie he can live in his guest house as long as he needs.
During Ernie’s stay, he becomes closer friends with Jerry and Jerry’s lawyer, Douglas, who spends time with them. One day when Ernie pops in Jerry’s house to water his flowers, he finds out Jerry has died. Douglas tells Ernie he can still stay in the guest house while he finds Jerry’s nephew Zack, to whom Jerry left everything. In the meantime, the main house will be rented out to someone else.
A bigtime Hollywood director named Austin moves into the main house on the premises. Ernie and Austin end up forming an unlikely friendship, which turns Ernie’s life upside down in a good way. It seems as though this friendship could bring back everything Ernie lost just a short while ago.
ERNESTO’S MANIFESTO is a sweet, sometimes funny story that makes the audience feel everything Ernie’s feeling. Ernie’s simple way of life teaches that, even when everything seems to be against you, still giving to others and being a nice human being can get you farther than you ever thought. The movie is loaded with life lessons everyone needs to be reminded of because sometimes the simplest ones are the easiest to forget.
Although the story is sweet, there’s really no big conflict to move the story along. Having more conflict would have made the story stronger and more believable. For a seemingly low-budget movie, the acting isn’t as bad as one would expect. Overall, the acting could have been better, but it didn’t hurt the overall movie.
ERNESTO’S MANIFESTO has a very strong moral worldview with kindness, generosity, compassion, loyalty, love, trust, and many other moral characteristics extolled. The movie embraces family and how family sometimes can be people who aren’t blood relatives. It even ends with a marriage ceremony. One character shows signs of false religion as he practices beliefs of the Dali Llama, but it doesn’t overshadow or take away from the good messages the movie displays. However, there’s a medium amount of gratuitous foul language that mars the movie, plus brief potty humor. If the foul language was cut, it also would have made the movie stronger. ERNESTO’S MANIFESTO also has two instances of dating couples living together. Because of this content, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution.
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