A MILLION TO JUAN is the story of a young Mexican widower born in L.A. without the papers to prove it and struggling to raise a young son, when he is handed a million dollar check by a mysterious man on the street corner. Though low on budget and production values, this film contains no foul language, nudity or violence and is filled with family values and terrific lessons.
Based on a Mark Twain short story, A MILLION TO JUAN is the tale of a young Mexican widower (Paul Rodriguez) born in L.A., but without the papers to prove it, and struggling to raise a young son when he is handed a million dollar check on the street corner by a mysterious man in a white limousine. However, there is a catch: The check must be returned in thirty days. While the check serves to open doors, it is also the source of some predictable fun–like the obligatory shopping spree down Rodeo Drive, but it does not solve Juan’s problems. However, the lessons are clear that dreams can come true, but a lot of hard work is required. Juan has to return the money, but a happy ending follows.
The directorial debut of Paul Rodriguez, A MILLION TO JUAN was made on a shoestring. The $500,000 allotted is little more than the catering budget of some mega-star vehicles. A smorgasbord of family values, the film is free from foul language, violence, nudity and sex scenes. Less than excellent production quality and two or three instances of subtle sexual innuendo, which would completely escape a young child, are easily offset by the strong positives. A project that Rodriguez himself expected to go “straight to video in Bolivia,” A MILLION TO JUAN provides fun, good lessons and is a film to which parents can take their children without trepidation.
(B, S) Biblical worldview with many moral messages slightly marred by mild sexual innuendo.