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Tuesday, December 29, 2009:
Bella - (2007) a movie review
From Yahoo Movies:

Nina, a young, unmarried waitress at a Mexican restaurant, finds herself pregnant and without work after coming in late several days because of morning sickness. Jose, the restaurant's chef, is taken by Nina's plight and becomes her sole confidant. Jose helps her walk through her decision on what to do with her pregnancy. In the process, he bears secrets from his own mysterious past, which reveal his tenderness and passion for her and the child she is carrying.

I can't remember why I chose this movie to watch. It might have even been recommended to me by someone, but I cannot recall. I got the movie several weeks ago from Netflix, but though I wanted to watch it, I just wasn't "ready". I know that sounds weird, but sometimes you just have to be in a certain frame of mind to watch something. That was the case with this movie.

The movie is pretty much what it says in the synopsis: girl gets fired, boy feels bad for girl and goes after her. But it's so much more than that while still being simple and sweet and ordinary. That is what makes it so special.

Jose works as a chef for his brother Manny, who operates his Mexican restaurant much like a drill sergeant. When Nina is late yet again, Manny decides to fire her, not really caring what her reasons are. Jose, seeing the desperation on her face, goes after her, which upsets his brother. But Jose doesn't care. He just knows he cannot at least try to do something for Nina.

Jose discovers the reason she's been late and out sick is because she's pregnant. With no job and no one to turn to, Nina's not sure what she's going to do. This stirs up feelings inside him from his past, and he attempts to be there or Nina at least in some small way. They talk, and he brings her to his family's house. While there, Nina soaks up the togetherness they all share, and wishes things were different for her. Jose opens up about his life, and she realizes why he's hiding in the kitchen of his brother's restaurant.

My thoughts:

This movie is a very small but significant passage of time between two people who don't really know each other but whose lives come together briefly and will never be the same. What I liked about it was that is was an ordinary moment, but one that had an amazing outcome. I loved the dinner at Jose's parents' house, where we see the love and passion and vivaciousness of a close, Mexican family, and how Nina soaks it all in, never having experienced anything like it herself. I also liked how this movie was about healing, but that there were no miracle cures, or that the relationship between Jose and Nina didn't become more than what it ended up being. The beauty of the film is that it is genuine, something real and possible and not neatly wrapped up as the credits are rolling. Parents still worry for their children. Siblings still fight and disagree. People move on. But it doesn't have to be a bad thing. It's just about something bigger, and how sometimes really good things can happen.

I cannot really explain it without giving away too much of the film, but suffice it to say this movie has heart, and is subtle in the way it sneaks into your own heart. It starts off in New York City, and it's rather unforgiving at times. But that also is why it's so moving. How amazing things can happen just by living. How the kindness of others can make all the difference in the world, no matter how insignificant it may seem. I think that's what got to me most. Just during your day, while you're riding the train or dealing with clients or grabbing a bite to eat, wonderful things can happen. And this movie made me smile to think of all these things. It just...was.
And okay, yeah, I have to mention that even with long hair and an ugly beard, Eduardo Verastegui has a certain charm and handsomeness that you can't help but notice. You can see his feelings in his eyes. I just thought I had to say that.

Rating: ***** out of *****

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  1. Stacy, this movie sounds wonderful. Will be adding it to my hold list at the library today.

  2. This sound like a movie to watch, I'm gonna Netflix it :) Thanks for review and you did great job on it without spoiling anything much :)

  3. It sounds lovely! I wonder if my library has it *races off to check*

  4. I am having a snow day at home and it looks like this is available to watch instantly from netflix. thanks for the heads up! :)

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