Adrian Alonso and Eugenio Derbez in Under the Same Moon.
Under the Same Moon is a flick that shows the other side of the immigration issue. Numerous Mexican mothers and fathers each year leave children behind in an attempt to provide a better life for them in America. Unfortunately, they are too often made out to be villains for it. Although immigration is a key theme in the film, the main focus of this picture is the love between a mother and her child.
We find out early that Rosario (Kate del Castillo) and her son Carlitos (Adrian Alonso) have a unique relationship. For the past four years, Rosario has been living illegally in America, hoping to one day bring her soon over legally and provide a better life. Their lifeline proves to be a payphone. Each Sunday at 10 a.m. for the last four years, they've spoken on the phone but after the death of his grandmother, Carlitos takes destiny into his own hands.
After a botched attempt to cross the border, thanks to Ugly Betty's America Ferrea and Jesse Garcia, Carlitos embarks on his journey alone. Shortly after being rescued from the clutches of a heroin fiend, Carlitos begins his unlikely partnership with Enrique (Eugenio Derbez). Their tales takes them from Tuscan to East L.A. and one step closer to the reunion the child hopes for.
Ironically, Rosario has decided her son is the most important thing in her life and decides to head south of the border to be with him. As 10 a.m. on Sunday looms, all hope seems lost for Carlitos.
This movie reminds the viewer that foreign flicks are flat out better than what most of Hollywood is producing. The stories are full, the landscapes rich and they're not afraid to show heart. Alonso and del Castillo are wonderful, but it's Derbez that owns this movie. His character could have been played flat and lifeless, but he shows a depth that was unexpected but delightful.
Moon humanizes the issue of immigration. There will be some who take issue with the underlying themes of the story, but the one thing this movie should do is remind us that we, as Americans, have a lot to be thankful for. We need to put down the cell phone, give out some hugs and embrace our good fortune.
Under the Same Moon is rated PG-13 for some mature thematic elements. The DVD has two bonus features The Making of "La Misma Luna" and "The Murals of "Under the Same Moon".
Final Cut: Moon has a simplistic story line and too often claws at the heartstrings, but forceful performances from Alonso, del Castillo and especially Derbez make this film a winner.