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The Blue Diner
The Blue Diner
Actors: Miriam Colon, Lisa Vidal, Jose Yenque, William Marquez, Virginia Rambal
Director: Jan Egleson
Genres: Comedy, Drama
PG-13     2003     1hr 40min

The Blue Diner is a film about food, memory, language, and caskets. It is the story of a Puerto Rican mother and daughter living together in Boston and the difficulties they encounter when the daughter, Elena, mysteriousl...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Miriam Colon, Lisa Vidal, Jose Yenque, William Marquez, Virginia Rambal
Director: Jan Egleson
Creators: Jan Egleson, Lemore Syvan, Lewis D. Wheeler, Marcus Viscidi, Natatcha Estébanez, Ron Kastner
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Romantic Comedies, Love & Romance
Studio: First Look Pictures
Format: DVD - Color - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 06/24/2003
Original Release Date: 01/01/2001
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2001
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 40min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English, Spanish
Subtitles: Spanish

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Movie Reviews

A Wonderful Film that Makes Me Proud to Be Bicultural....
D. Pawl | Seattle | 09/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I first saw (and videotaped) La Fonda Azul on PBS about a year ago close to Hispanic Heritage Month. What a treasure of a small, independent film! I am surprised not more people haven't seen it. It has everything--magical realism, humor and tenderness.

Elena is a beautiful young Boricua (Puerto Rican) woman, who cares for her elderly mother (a janitor at the local museum) and helps support the both of them as an interpreter at a funeral home. She must struggle with her identities as a Puerto Rican and as an "American." (Puerto Rico is technically part of the United States) Her bilingual ability is challenged as she must translate for her mother (who speaks no English) and the challenge that comes when she loses her ability to speak Spanish after an argument with her mother.

I loved the combination of beautiful Puerto Rican music, intriguing cinematography, great and engaging actors and the refreshing concept of seeing Latinos as "regular people." Unlike many films out there, this film had no drive by shootings, raunchy and embarressing "hoochie mamas" (i.e. fiery, sin verguenza--"shameless" in Spanish--prostitutes and tarts with no moral values), drug dealers or excessive violence. Instead, it takes a sensitive look at identity and following your heart versus following what is expected of you.

This is a treat on so many levels! An added note: The food scenes near the end are priceless. Wonderfully humorous and warm!"
A great movie!
Grady Harp | 09/18/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is an excellent film about culture, love and life in general. This film appeals to all people and brings up some great questions about the challenges of losing one's culture to the "American Way.""
Finally a Solution for Satisfying Bilingual Audiences!
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 04/24/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"As the Hispanic/Latino population grows in the US we are gifted with more and more movies in Spanish from Spain, Argentina, Mexico, and other Latin American countries. Some directors have attempted to maintain one language for these films and present them with subtitles. That always seems like the director doesn't pay attention to the need for bilingual status, especially in such states as California. Thus it is a special pleasure to view THE BLUE DINER, a dandy little film that is honest, deals with issues of immigrant perceptions and problems as well as trials and triumphs, and delivered in a bilingual spoken format. Jan Egleson wrote and directed this well paced story about a Puerto Rican mother (Miriam Colon) who moves to Boston, working proudly in housekeeping at a museum to pay for her daughter Elena's education (Lisa Vidal). Meche (the mother) speaks little English; her daughter has gone to school and has a good job in a mortuary where her skills as being bilingual allow her to climb the 'corporate ladder'. She is dating the owner of the mortuary Brian (John Mulcahy) who is attempting to learn Spanish. Elena's heart secretly belongs to Tito (Jose Yenque), a fellow Puerto Rican, who works as an artisan making caskets to support his real dream of becoming established as a fine artist. Elena's duplicity of response to Brian and to Tito is complicated by her mother's demand that she court only the 'Americano' with all the supposed success that implies. The secret of Elena's father's identity and history begins to play into the love triangle, Tito sneaks one of his paintings into the museum where Meche works the night shift, Meche is blamed for the breech in museum security, the tension produces a 'stroke' in Elena whose only symptom is that she is unable to speak or understand her native tongue of Spanish, and it is only through the loving intervention of Papo (William Marquez) at his home base Blue Diner that all ends well.The story is delightful, the actors are excellent, but the major pleasure of this film is that it is respectfully half in English and half in Spanish. Subtitles are provided, of course, but the conversations encourage us to try to understand both languages. I think this shows profound respect for the audience and it is to Egleson's credit that this film succeeds so well. A good story, with significant social commentary, and very well acted."