"American Bashing 101"
What You Need To Know:
UNDER THE SAME MOON effectively pulls at the heart strings, but the movie’s premise of the movie is based on illegal – albeit controversial – activity. The filmmakers attempt to manipulate the viewers by setting up a difficult circumstance to gain empathy for Carlitos while bashing authorities and the United States government. If you are not a fan of political correctness, then this movie is not for you.
(PaPa, PCPC, APAP, H, C, B, LL, V, N, A, MMM) Strong, somewhat mixed pagan worldview with politically correct, anti-American elements mixed with humanist elements and a trace of a Christian worldview in the protagonist, who recites the Lord’s Prayer at one point; three profanities and 18 mild obscenities; off-screen violence of American immigration agents wrestling and beating suspects; no sexual content; naturalistic upper male nudity, man wearing only boxers in bed; minor alcohol drinking; no smoking; and, smuggling Mexican boy across U.S. border and defying authority.
UNDER THE SAME MOON (LA MISMA LUNA) is an emotional story from Mexico of a young nine-year-old boy, Carlitos (Adrian Alonso), who illegally crosses into America from Mexico in order to reunite with his mother after the unexpected death of his grandmother. Rosario (Kate del Castillo), his mother, is an illegal alien working hard in Los Angeles as a maid to both bring her son to live with her as well as to raise money for a lawyer to help her gain citizenship. Through a twist of plot, Carlitos makes it across the border into Texas, but then must find his own way to his mom in Los Angeles. He’s reluctantly helped by a fellow Mexican illegal, Enrique (Eugenio Derbez), who helps him to eventually connect with his mother.
There are many elements in this story that are positive. The foul language is minor and there’s no sexual content or nudity. Carlitos recites the Lord’s Prayer when in danger and Enrique sacrifices himself for Carlitos. He gets arrested in order that Carlitos can escape and make it to his mother. The theme of the movie articulated by Enrique and repeated in song twice is that anything is worth the price to be with a loved one, including breaking the law and endangering yourself and others. This is certainly a mixed message. Sacrifice for others is noble and family is to be highly treasured, but crossing the line into illegal activity negates what noble actions are represented.
The filmmaker’s anti-American message is very clear. Not even California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is safe from attack for his policy against illegal aliens receiving driver’s licenses. It’s difficult to fully understand a message that is against America so profoundly when the entire movie is about people risking everything in order to live in America.
The best part of the movie is the performance by young Adrian Alonso, who holds the movie together. The writing is predictable and is highly melodramatic. The underscore and songs within the movie are used in a very heavy handed manner.
While this movie effectively pulls at the heart strings, it’s hard to recommend it because the premise of the movie is based on illegal – albeit controversial – activity. The filmmakers attempt to manipulate the viewers by setting up a difficult circumstance to gain empathy for Carlitos while bashing authorities and the United States government. Carlitio’s has terrible experiences being an illegal alien in the U.S. If you are a fan of political correctness, then this movie is for you. Otherwise, there are more worthwhile movies with similar themes of the love of a mother and her children that would be worth watching. Some of these can be found at www.movieguide.org.