Entertainment » Movies


by Jake Mulligan
Monday Sep 30, 2013

Pitched at the broad tenor of a Lifetime film, "Margarita" offers what you'd expect from said network: surface inquiries into social problems, a few belly laughs, and acting that borders on the roughshod. But this Canadian production, from directors Dominique Cardona and Laurie Colbert, digs a bit deeper into its sociological set-up than most of what you see on basic cable.

Nicola Correia Damude features as the title character; a Mexican maid living illegally up north caring for a bourgeois middle-class white couple, Ben and Gail (Patrick McKenna and Claire Lautier) and their 14-year-old daughter Mali (Maya Ritter.) Her girlfriend Jane, a law student, rebuffs Margarita's pleas for marriage; yet all is calm on the surface. Then the economy crashes in on everyone.

Ben and Gail decide to let Margarita go ("Mali's 14; she can take care of herself," they convince themselves,) which creates an entire disastrous chain of events. Mali turns against her parents; Margarita seeks out a fake ID from a fellow undocumented immigrant, Ricardo, who's in love with her; and soon a freak accident leaves her in the hospital - and in the hands of the Canadian Immigration Office.

The fact that Margarita is gay doesn't factor into the plot much until the 3rd act; where the inevitable 'who-will-she-marry-to-stay-in-the-country' angle pops up - though her orientation does provide for a few of the film's biggest laughs. (Soon enough, Gail is chiding Ben for taking too close a look at their caretaker as she bends over the table. "She's a lesbian," Ben retorts to his wife, "I'd have a better chance of having sex with you.")

It's all competently crafted - no shaky handheld camerawork or dim, natural lighting here - but it's also lacking in any surprises. The Lifetime-ness of it all holds strong through the end credits; which roll exactly at the 90-minute mark. The emotional peaks feel as though they're designed to work around commercial breaks. Even the sex scene in this movie feels blocked for TV; covered up with cheap music and cut down to a couple of barely-there shadowy shots. Margarita's sexy, but only in a TV-PG sort of way.



Runtime :: 90 mins
Release Date :: Jan 01, 2012
Language ::
Country :: Canada


Out On Film Atlanta

Out On Film, Atlanta's LGBT film festival, celebrates its 29th anniversary this year and its eighth year of independence. One of the largest LGBT film festivals in the country, as well as one of the largest film festivals in Atlanta, Out On Film was recently named Atlanta's Best LGBT event by the readers of Georgia Voice. The recipient of a 2014 grant form the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for its popular visiting filmmaker series, Out On Film has also received grants from Georgia Council for the Arts and the Fulton County Arts Council. Each year Out On Film screens close to a 100 films and brings in a variety of specials guests.to make the filmmaking experience a communal community event. http://outonfilm.org


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