Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Bella, (2006, Alejandro Gomez Monteverde)

From the Department of Ridiculous Endings:


Pretty standard chick-flick: hunky ex-soccer player turned chef at brother's restaurant skips work for the day with attractive waitress fired from same restaurant because they both have unresolved problems and need to talk about them. Saccharine low-budget drama.


OK, so the deal is that there's this guy, Jose, (Eduardo Verástegui), who was on his way to being the David Beckham of New York when he runs over a little girl as he drives his big American car to his first press conference. He spends 4 years in jail and then comes out, with a lot more hair, to work at his brother's restaurant. He is of course a highly talented chef as well as a whiz with his feet. His brother, Manny (Manny Perez) is the buttoned-down, ambitious type, always yelling at his employees but lacking any real talent. The girl is Nina, (Tammy Blanchard), the beautiful loser type - she has a reputation for not showing up to work though it turns out that she has a pretty good reason this time as she is pregnant.

When she turns up late, buttoned-down brother fires her but then loses his chef for the day when the hunky brother chases after the waitress to return her teddy bear that she has dropped in the street. Because he has the hots for her?  Because he feels sorry for her?  Because he is feeling guilty about something?  They then skip work for the day, eat at a fancy restaurant, hang out with his family and end up on the beach figuring out what she should do.  And of course revealing their deepest and darkest feelings to each other - as you do on such a 'first date'.

Fast forward to final scene on beach: hunky guy plays with little girl until it is time to go home. They walk to the street where they wait for a taxi to draw up. Out gets ex-waitress and there is an emotional meeting between the woman and the girl at which it emerges that this is the first time the little girl has met her mother. Movie ends with all three going back to the beach - cue cliched scene of little child walking between two adults toward rolling surf. FIN. Except that's it. No exposition. We are left to assume that the guy has adopted the little girl (because he is a good Catholic and/or wants to expedite his guilt about killing a little girl) and that the woman has just disappeared for four (?) years doing who knows what but has now decided that once the diaper stage is over she can come back into her kid's life. 

Or who knows what the reasoning was but you do have to wonder which highly-paid whiz-kid came up with that ending.

Bella is available on DVD from Lions Gate.

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