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"BELLA"
(2007) (Eduardo Verástegui, Tammy Blanchard) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Mild Heavy Mild None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Minor None None None
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild Minor Heavy Heavy Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: When a pregnant waitress is fired for being late, her coworker takes off the day to be with her, thus allowing the two damaged souls to bond and help each other through their issues.
PLOT:
Nina (TAMMY BLANCHARD) is a single waitress working in a New York City restaurant run by the very particular and demanding Manny (MANNY PEREZ). He isn't pleased about her recent tardiness, and fires her, unaware that she's late in another way by unexpectedly being pregnant.

Hit with that double whammy, Nina grabs her things and leaves, followed by Manny's brother and head chef, José (EDUARDO VERÁSTEGUI). Although they're not fast friends, he's concerned, and thus decides to spend the day with her.

As they get to know each other better -- including by having dinner with his parents (ANGÉLICA ARAGÓN & JAIME TIRELLI) and younger brother, Eduardo (RAMON RODRIGUEZ) -- they come to realize that they're both damaged souls -- she by her current situation and the death of her father in the past, he by a tragic accident that changed his life forever -- and end up helping each other work through their issues.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Some teens might be, but it doesn't seem likely it will be a big draw among kids.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For thematic elements and brief disturbing images.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • EDUARDO VERÁSTEGUI plays a former soccer star (who briefly smokes a cigar) whose life was upended by a tragic and fatal accident in the past. Now a far more reserved chef at his brother's restaurant, he goes after Nina when she's fired to make sure she's okay and help her get through her predicament.
  • TAMMY BLANCHARD plays a waitress who finds herself pregnant and fired from her job. Unhappy and uncertain about her future, she contemplates having an abortion (but doesn't). She briefly smokes and drinks while pregnant.
  • MANNY PEREZ plays José's brother and boss at the restaurant, a demanding man who isn't pleased with Nina for being late (and thus fires her) or José taking off to be with her without telling Manny of his plans.
  • ANGÉLICA ARAGÓN and JAIME TIRELLI play José's parents who welcome Nina to dinner with open arms. While he can understand English, he pretends he can't and prefers to converse in his native tongue.
  • RAMON RODRIGUEZ plays José's younger brother who's madly in love with a new girlfriend.
  • ARMANDO RIESCO plays José's manager in the past who urges him to drive away from a fatal car accident.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick look at the content found in this PG-13 rated drama. No profanity is present, but some colorful phrases are, as is some non-explicit, sexually related dialogue. That's related to a single woman being pregnant from an unseen sexual encounter that occurs before the movie begins. There's contemplative talk of having an abortion, but that ultimately does not occur.

    A briefly and only partially seen car accident takes the life of a child (we don't see the impact, but do see the grieving mother holding her dead and slightly bloody girl). Other tense family is present, as are some bad attitudes, while brief drinking and smoking occur, and a character admits to past drug use (pot).

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, varying amounts of handheld camerawork are seen in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • At Manny's restaurant, the bartender talks of mojitos and now knowing how to make them.
  • Manny says Nina showed up for work hung-over, but she says she was just sick (from being pregnant, which Manny does not know).
  • José's father pours some wine for dinner, while his younger brother pours liquor for various family members, including Nina who drinks a small shot (despite being pregnant). More wine is consumed during dinner.
  • Nina mentions that one night she got stoned out of her mind as a teenager, and got "the munchies."
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see a flashback to José driving with his manager Francisco when a young girl darts out in the road. We hear but don't see the impact, and briefly see the girl on the street, with some blood on her clothes. We also see the grieving mother holding her dead and bloody child.
  • Eduardo shows an old but large scar on his arm from a previous cut that required 70-some stitches.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • It appears that a man tries to shortchange a clerk in a convenience store, with the customer calling the Chinese clerk "Korea" after the latter's accusation, but it turns out the customer was correct in regards to what money he gave him.
  • Although the abortion ends up not being performed, some viewers might not like the following: Nina tells José she is pregnant (by a never seen man), but adds that doesn't mean she's going to have it, and that "getting it taken care of" is what's best for her. This discussion is then inter-cut with her going to have the abortion, and then coming out and crying in José's arms (but it turns out she didn't go through with it).
  • Nina smokes once (while pregnant), and then puts out the cigarette on the sidewalk (littering). She also drinks a little while pregnant.
  • José complains that Manny knows nothing about his employees, and Manny is a bit over the top in his demands toward them.
  • Realizing the potential impact of what would happen to the soccer star's career due to striking a child in the road by accident (in the past), Francisco urges José to leave the scene, but José can't and doesn't.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • José walks out into the street without looking and a car nearly hits him.
  • We see a flashback to José driving with his manager Francisco when a young girl darts out in the road. We hear but don't see the impact, and briefly see the girl on the street, with some blood on her clothes. We also see the grieving mother holding her dead and bloody child.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "It stinks," "He's a jerk," "That was crazy," "It sucks," "Screwed up," "He is such a piece of..." "Don't just stand there like a lump," "You're slower than a one legged man" and "Old man" (said in a loving fashion).
  • José holds his hand over an open flame in the restaurant kitchen (to feel pain in relation to his past traumatic event).
  • A miscellaneous man has tattoos on his arm.
  • We see miscellaneous graffiti.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • José walks out into the street without looking and a car nearly hits him.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • None.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Nina is pregnant from an unseen sexual encounter.
  • We see Nina in a bubble bath, but only see her head.
  • José's mom says she heard Nina was pregnant and wonders what José had to do with that (which was nothing).
  • SMOKING
  • José smokes a cigar in his soccer-playing days.
  • Nina smokes once (while pregnant), and then puts out the cigarette on the sidewalk (littering).
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We see a miscellaneous grieving mother holding her dead and bloody child who's just been accidentally struck by a car.
  • Manny is upset with José for walking out on the job, and they have a brief falling out, but later make up.
  • Nina does a hypothetical bit about asking a relative to adopt her unborn child, pretending to talk to her mom, including saying that she hasn't seen her in 4 years.
  • José's mom is briefly upset with him over his behavior (walking out on Manny during business).
  • We hear that Nina's dad passed away when she was 12, and that after he died, her mom just sat on the couch and never moved on, meaning Nina raised herself.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The comment that if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.
  • Nina is pregnant from an unseen sexual encounter.
  • A blind man's comment that God closed his eyes, but that he can now see (figuratively).
  • Nina tells José she is pregnant (by a never seen man), but adds that doesn't mean she's going to have it, and that "getting it taken care of" is what's best for her. This discussion is then inter-cut with her going to have the abortion, and then coming out and crying in José's arms (but it turns out she didn't go through with it).
  • We hear that José spent several years in prison for involuntary vehicular manslaughter.
  • Nina smokes and drinks a little while pregnant.
  • We hear that Manny was adopted.
  • We hear that Nina's dad passed away when she was 12, and that after he died, her mom just sat on the couch and never moved on, meaning Nina raised herself.
  • Nina saying that she can't have a baby and watch it suffer with her.
  • VIOLENCE
  • José holds his hand over an open flame in the restaurant kitchen (to feel pain in relation to his past traumatic event).
  • An irate customer throws something against the back wall of a convenience store.
  • Manny hits a wall in anger/frustration.
  • We see a flashback to José driving with his manager Francisco when a young girl darts out in the road. We hear but don't see the impact, and briefly see the girl on the street, with some blood on her clothes. We also see the grieving mother holding her dead and bloody child.



  • Reviewed November 12, 2007 / Posted November 16, 2007

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