Portland based filmmaker Jon Garcia has followed up his highly successful Falls Trilogy of movies with yet another exceptional queer love story . This time however he has moved on from Mormons to Mexican Mafia.
It’s the story of Ruben (Ernesto Reyes)has a job driving for his Mafiosa cousin Julio (Rega Lupo) taking his girls back and forth to ‘work’. However Ruben falls for one of them and gets so drunk with her that he crashes the car killing her outright.
It lands him in Correction Center and reluctantly having to share a cell with a very threatening Carlos (Jesse Tayeh). Being the new kid on the block Ruben is given a rough time by all the other inmates, but slowly Carlos lightens up and becomes his prison mentor. Not long after that their new friendship develops and they actually end up as lovers.
That however is very short lived as the very next day Carlos is discharged from jail …. a fact he had been keeping from a very smitten and now angry Ruben.
Three years later and it is now the turn of Ruben to be released from jail.. In the meanwhile his mother has died and his Mafia cousin Julio has taken Ruben’s daughter to live with him without disclosing their address.
First Ruben tracks down Carlos now living with his girlfriend and mother and running an auto-repair shop. It clear to everyone that the two men are very much in love, so the girlfriend storms out but his mother gives her blessing. There is now just one remaining enormous problem and that is getting his daughter back.
No matter how sharp you think you are, Garcia’s plots are never easy to predict and once again he ensures we are sitting on the edge of our seats to the very last frame. And clutching a whole box of Kleenex just in case.
It is a beautiful emotional story which detractors may complain is too sentimental, but it will really appeal to the romantic in everyone. The remarkable thing is that Garcia always shows a exceptional psyche into queer relationships/romance and with such authenticity for someone who is actually an ally of our community.
His native Oregon stands in for Mexico and his attention to detail also extends to n original perfect soundtrack ……. did we mention Garcia is a musician too.
Kudos to his two lead actors for their compelling pitch perfect performances in this crowd-pleaser of movie we know we will want to watch again when we feel the need for a touch of real romance