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Echo Park LA (Quinceañera)


Stars: Emily Rios, JR Cruz, Chalo Gonzalez, Jesse Garcia

Director: Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland

Living in a Latino ghetto area of Los Angeles, Magdalena (Rios) prepares for her quinceañera - the Mexican celebration of a virginal daughter's 15th birthday. But, despite not having full sex with boyfriend Herman (JR Cruz), Magdalena falls pregnant. It's a chance in several million.

'Perhaps we could call the baby Jesus,' suggests Herman brightly. Alas the affair is no joke, and the boyfriend is soon packed off to college, while a disgraced Magdalena, unable to convince her parents - especially her preacher father - of a virgin birth, flees from home to live with her aged great uncle (Gonzalez) and sullen, gay, 'bad boy' cousin Carlos (Garcia).

Alas, Carlos soon becomes involved witheir gay landlords, threatening the precarious existence of the embattled trio,

Despite an overall gloominess, the film is bolstered by convincing performances from the three young leads and a mercifully (and triumphantly) upbeat ending.

David Quinlan

USA 2005. UK Distributor: Metrodome. Colour.
90 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 1, Swearing 1.

Review date: 24 Sep 2006