A Day Without a Mexican

Bomb Rating: 

It's really sad how many people on this Earth simply do not understand what makes a mockumentary really funny. One of those people is director Sergio Arau.

Let me explain some of the things that make mockumentaries not funny: when the director of the film doesn't take the subject seriously, when the actors don't take their acting seriously and appear to be in on the joke, when there's no coherent through line (storyline) that the audience can easily follow, when the plot is fictionalized in such a way that the actors appear to be actors instead of real people. I could probably think of a dozen other things.

The movie has an interesting concept: What would happen in California if all the Mexicans disappeared? I actually think this could be funny because so many people in California (and America in general) rely on immigrant workers and minimum wage Mexican-Americans yet simultaneously express a hatred for them and support political efforts to deport them and generally make their lives hard.

One wonders what would happen if these racists actually got their way. The answer is that there would complete chaos.

Now, if this film had truly committed to the idea and asked everyone in the film to really believe it had happened, it could have been funny. As it is, the humor is entirely too tongue-in-cheek, which makes everything not funny. The more seriously the people in the film take the plot, the funnier it is. Instead, it appears as though director Sergio Arau told everyone to pretend they were in an "SNL" skit.

One hopes all these filmmakers take some more lessons in how to make films, particularly comedies, because they don't appear to understand the essential elements in creating humor. The film is poorly directed, and shot like the cinematographer, Alan Caudillo, was more concerned with his fantasy football draft than with shooting the picture.

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