High-Note Ending, or Higher Ethic?
I can’t help but think that New York Times movie reviewer Stephen Holden misses the significance of Bella by, well, by the distance between life and death:
It is not hard to see why “Bella,” a saccharine trifle directed by Alejandro Monteverde, won the People’s Choice Award at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival. This is a movie that wears its bleeding heart on its sleeve and loves its characters to distraction. Nothing — not even significant plot glitches and inconsistencies — is allowed to get in the way of its bear-hugging embrace of sweetness and light. …
After she confesses that she is pregnant and planning an abortion, he decides to talk her out of it, helps her find a new job and takes her home to his warm-hearted Latino family on Long Island. …
If “Bella” (the title doesn’t make sense until the last scene) is a mediocre cup of mush, the response to it suggests how desperate some people are for an urban fairy tale with a happy ending, no matter how ludicrous.
On further thought (and I say this admitting that I haven’t seen the movie), it could be that Holden does get just what people are desperate for. Perhaps he uses “happy ending” — hardly a finale that Hollywood avoids — as a euphemism for “life-affirming.”
Then again it is the New York Times.
The concepts of babies not being aborted, of finding new jobs, of loving families are fairy tales. For them! These are foreign concepts.
Pity them for they are empty and without soul.
According to the ProJo movie section, Bella is showing locally at the Seekonk showcase.
I haven’t seen it yet, but if the NYT “disses” it, that makes me all the more likely to give it a shot.