Netflix this: ‘Bella’

Bella is a quiet movie. It doesn’t grab with you with special effects or punchy, acerbic dialogue. It’s a film with a simple story, commanding yet restrained performances and its heart proudly displayed on its sleeve.

Chances are you missed it during its theatrical run, and chances are this is the first time you’ve ever heard of it. But this little film is finally on DVD, and I highly recommend it.

What’s it about? Jose (Eduardo Verástegui) is a chef at his brother Manny’s (Manny Perez) Mexican restaurant in Manhattan. Nina (Tammy Blanchard) is a waitress at the restaurant but is abruptly fired for being late. Just as abruptly, Jose ditches work to spend the day with Nina. Both have a lot of pain inside, and throughout the day they realize each other offers a way to rise above their circumstances. And no, they don’t fall in love and live happily ever after.

What’s good about it: Bella deals with the same subject matter as Juno—unplanned pregnancy—but the way both films approach it could not be any different. Juno is crass and smarmy (and one of those films you’re told to like because it has won a buttload of awards and has a quirky, pseudo-indie soundtrack), whereas Bella is gentle and unassuming. Verástegui and particularly Blanchard are completely believable in their respective roles—her character breaks your heart.

What’s bad about it: Some of the plot seems a little too simplistic—to go into further detail will say too much—but that’s about it, really.

Overall: A solid drama with heartfelt performances. The quiet antidote to the Hollywood noise.

Perfect for: Those looking for something different without having to worry about offensive content.

Visit the Bella website


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4 Responses to “Netflix this: ‘Bella’”

  1. Shayla Matthews Says:

    Ok, I was a little confused at first. I didn’t realize the man at the restaurant was the same soccer guy. Good thing they explained that later. I thought it was interesting how they did a scene with in a scene, you know the one. Any way it was good. Thanks for recommending it.

  2. Theresa Says:

    Champ….i just watched this movie on Saturday as my parents rented it Friday night….we are thinking about the ending and beginning beach scenes…what they mean….etc. what do you think? anyway….i love ya kid…in a platonic way…don’t fret! have a witty day!

  3. yikbo Says:

    What do you mean? Like did he end up with Nina? (Because he didn’t.) Did he adopt Bella? (Yes.) Was that the first time in five years Nina had seen Bella? (I think so.)

  4. Theresa Says:

    no….i can’t give away the movie…i’ll email ya!

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