What You Need To Know:
QUINCEAÑERA is ultimately a resounding affirmation of family love, reconciliation and forgiveness. While some of the homosexual content might be too objectionable for many viewers, and so please exercise extreme caution, QUINCEAÑERA nonetheless delivers an authentic-feeling glimpse of enduring love in the lives of a family and community whose world is changing.
(PaPa, BB, HoHo, LL, V, SS, N, A, DD, M) Mixed pagan worldview including strong moral elements in which some characters behave immorally but ultimately movie returns to an affirmation of family, plus some strong homosexual references; 11 strong obscenities including eight "f" words; a brief fist fight in which punches are thrown and blood is drawn; no explicit sex but two instances of implied homosexual encounters including a man rubbing another man’s bare stomach and unbuttoning his pants, two men lie in bed together, two men kiss, crude talk about genitals, teenage boy and girl talk about their sexual activity, teenage boy asks teenage girl to touch his crotch, depictions of very provocative dancing, and fully clothed girls imitate a “pole dance”; upper male nudity; light alcohol use; character smokes pot routinely; and, a depiction of vandalism.
QUINCEAÑERA is one of those movies that has much to like and also much that is objectionable. Set in Echo Park, a borough of Los Angeles just northwest of downtown, the movie is as much a love letter to a place as the story of the people who live there. It sketches a profile of Echo Park’s rapidly changing character as it weaves an earnest story of a girl’s crisis just on the verge of her Quinceañera, her 15th birthday and formal entrance into womanhood.
Magdelena is a 14-year-old third generation Mexican-American. Her father is a pastor and has strict, traditional ideas for how his daughter should behave. When Magdelena has trouble fitting into her Quinceañera gown, her family’s worst fears are confirmed by a home pregnancy test, even though Magdelena swears she’s never had intercourse with anyone. Her father rejects her as a liar and fornicator so Magdelena goes to live with her great uncle Tio Thomas, a loving, tender old man played with deeply endearing affection by Chalo González.
Also staying with Tio is another family outcast, Magdelena’s cousin Carlos, a homosexual who’s been rejected by the rest of his family. Tio tends an enchanting garden in the back of his charming bungalow, which he’s rented for ages. When a homosexual couple buys the property and moves into the main house, it’s a sign of the times for Echo Park as the neighborhood’s once predominately Hispanic population gives way to the forces of gentrification.
Carlos discovers his new neighbors. There are several instances of implied homosexual behavior as well as some explicit depictions including a male kiss and a scene in which a man rubs Carlos’s bare stomach and unbuttons his pants.
Without giving too much away, the movie is ultimately a resounding affirmation of family love, reconciliation and forgiveness. While some of the homosexual content might be too objectionable for many viewers, the homosexual couple is by no means given a free pass and actually ends up looking the worst. Moral viewers will want to exercise extreme caution, but QUINCEAÑERA delivers an authentic-feeling glimpse of enduring love in the lives of a family and community whose world is changing.