Magdalena (Emily Rios) is excited about her fifteenth-birthday celebration approaching, and all she can think about is her boyfriend, her brand new dress, and the Hummer Limo she hopes will carry her on her special day. A little while before her birthday, she is devastated to find she's fallen pregnant and is terrified that her religious father will find out and reject her. Forced out of her home, Magdalena moves in with her great-grand uncle Tomas (Chalo Gonzalez) and outcast gay cousin Carlos (Jesse Garcia), where she becomes embroiled in the turbulent lives of Carlos and her new community. As Magdalena's pregnancy grows more visible, she, Carlos, and Tomas pull together as a family of outsiders. But the pressure of life in the neighbourhood seem to be getting the better of them, as they desperately try to hold on to their way of life.
This is a low key film about a small district in LA where the Mexican - American community is gradually being assimilated into American culture. This is nowhere clearer than in the opening scene where the formal ceremony of the Quinceanere is contrasted nicely with the young people dancing to modern American music in the back of the limo. The best part of the film is the relationship between Carlos and his uncle Tomas - which is touching and loving. Carlos in particular is brilliant - he appears initally to be a stereotypical latin American tough guy - until we learn that he is gay and his brooding outsider status takes on a different meaning. Unfortunately the actress playing Magdalena is the weak link in the film - as is her pregnancy without conception storyline which felt out of place. I know this film won alot of awards when it was originally released - including Sundance - I didn't think it was that good and the narrative doesn't really go anywhere but it is a gentle and at times touching film.