UNDER THE SAME MOON (Patricia Riggen). 106 minutes. Subtitled. Opens Friday (April 4). Rating: NN
Do you find most foreign films challenging, morally complex or otherwise difficult? Would you like to see a simple, easily interpreted melodrama that doesn’t push too hard against any preconceptions you might have brought into the theatre with you?
Well, sit right down and enjoy Under The Same Moon, a calculated bit of liberal-friendly pandering. It follows the journey of a wide-eyed little Mexican boy (Adrian Alonso) who makes his way to the magical land north of the border after his grandmother’s death to be reunited with his mother (Kate del Castillo), who’s been working as a domestic for the last four years. Mama doesn’t know he’s coming, though, and has no way of contacting him once he sets out on his incredible journey.
As the film’s title sort of acknowledges, this is really just a live-action reworking of An American Tail. And as is appropriate for a film targeting children (or grown-ups who don’t want to think too deeply about the problems the movie pretends to address), all the white characters are stiff and self-serving, while most of the brown people are generous and kind-hearted, martyring themselves at a moment’s notice so this little stranger can get a few steps further along.
If you thought Babel had too much going on, or that Crash was too grim, this one’s for you.