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Comedy Movies - A Day Without A Mexican


A Day Without A Mexican
Yareli Arizmendi, Caroline Aaron, John Getz
Directed by Sergio Arau
100 minutes
Xenon Pictures 2004

A Day Without A Mexican could have been a really funny and on target comedy or mockumentary if Sergio Arau hadn't studied at the MTV Video school of editing and had not decided to put everything including the kitchen sink (really, there is a kitchen sink in this movie for no reason whatsoever) in his adaptation of his eponymous 1998 short film.

As is, at some 100 minutes, the movie feels too long and the many repetitive so pointless scenes and the many stories Arau tries to juggle try the viewer's patience somewhat. The ending will definitely annoy those who gave Mexican a chance.

The premise is that on May 14th a pink cloud surrounds all of California and all the Latinos simply vanish (something which must certainly have annoyed Republican southern Baptist conservatives who believe in the Rapture) leaving California in disarray as most residents realize how vital Spanish-speaking people were to the economy and their daily lives.

Many funny moments, such as when the UFO expert explains his theory that the sombrero is an unconscious memory related to the spaceships that visited the Mayans, show A Day Without A Mexican could have been an interesting and funny little movie

Unfortunately, Arau throws in an X-Files sort of secondary story having to do with the military having developed a gene specific bomb, a mad scientist who experiments on Lila (believed to be the last Latina left in California), .a bunch of rednecks who celebrate a now Ahmericuns only California, adventures of the border patrol, and more stuff.

Arau also throws in an ED TV scheme when reporter Lila Rodriguez is followed by a TV camera installed in her hospital room, a soap operatic moment when minor character Mary Jo Quintana reveals to her neighbor he is the real father of her daughter, a bunch of rednecks who celebrate a now Ahmericuns only California, adventures of the border patrol and so on and so on. I mean, it is always nice to see stand-up comic Jason Stuart in a movie but his scene as a staff less restaurateur could have been edited out.

The DVD release includes the original short film and mockumentary that inspired the much, much longer version and, believe it or not, outtakes.

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