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Spanglish

Year: 2005
Director: James L Brooks
Writer: James L Brooks
Cast: Adam Sandler, Paz Vega, Tea Leoni, Cloris Leachman
Following Punch Drunk Love, Adam Sandler continues to flex his considerable weight in Hollywood to do more dramatic projects.

The trailer (and Sandler's presence) made Spanglish look like a strait comedy, but it's more so a drama about a Los Angeles family, their neuroses, and by extension the American condition, as compared to the less 'advanced' cultures on Earth where family is a simpler and more devoted concept.

Sandler is a chef on the rise who – together with painfully overwrought wife Leoni – hires Mexican immigrant Flor as a housekeeper (the stunning Vega, and it'll be interesting to see if she's just another newcomer starlet making a big splash because of her beauty or if she has any real talent or scope).

Flor shakes things up predictably and well as in ways you won't expect, and the moments where she and John (Sandler) almost give in to their attraction are painfully bittersweet. Cloris Leachman, whom I last noticed as the brutish Nurse Diesel in High Anxiety 15 years or more ago, steals the show as Leoni's wise and no-nonsense mother.

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