Netflix this: ‘Under the Same Moon’

Under the Same Moon is one of those children-in-peril movies where you know that it’s pretty near impossible for the kid to make it through the dangerous journey in one piece, and for that reason alone you could “yeah, right!” the entire film and roll your eyes in disbelief that the kid doesn’t die. (If you think that’s a spoiler, think about it for a sec. People don’t tell stories about kids traveling by themselves only to have them die at the end. Unless they’re fairy tales being told to wicked children.)

But I’ll be darned if Under the Same Moon didn’t win me over.

What’s it about? Carlitos (Adrian Alonso, Antonio Banderas’ kid from The Legend of Zorro) lives with this Grandmother in Mexico while his mother (Kate del Castillo) is an illegal alien working in Los Angeles. She’s been in LA for four years. Every Sunday when she calls home her guilt for leaving her son consumes her, and she’s having second thoughts about being so far away from him.

Grandma dies on a Monday and Carlitos, fearful of living with some shady relatives, decides to cross the border and make it to Los Angeles before his mother calls again next Sunday. What follows are incredibly difficult (and dangerous) challenges that put his determination to the test.

Under the Same Moon DVDTwo twentysomethings (America Ferrera and Jesse Garcia), trying to earn money for college, agree to hide Carlitos in a tiny compartment in their hunk-o-junk minivan. They clear the border check (just barely), only to have their vehicle impounded for unpaid speeding/parking tickets (with Carlitos still inside). More stuff like that happens to our little hero, but don’t worry—he doesn’t die. (See first paragraph for further clarification.)

What’s good about it? Adrian Alonso and Kate de Castillo’s performances are outstanding. It was also good for me to gain a better understanding of what illegals go through to get to the US and to stay there. It’s a hard life.

What’s bad about it? As I mentioned before, the “yeah, right!” factor his high. Just ignore it and enjoy the movie. Oh, about 75% of the film is subtitled. If you’re one of those who can’t stand reading your movie, you might want to pass.

Perfect for: people who like Bella, foreign films, or kid-in-peril movies.

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