By Mark Saldana
Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)
Another import from Mexico, this film is a beautiful celebration of life, love and family, and how the heart and familial bond prevails in the face of distress. Los Insolitos Peces Gato tells the story of a young lonely woman named Claudia (Ximena Ayala) who gets taken in by a loving family coping with a very ill matriarch. Claudia has a dull and uninteresting life dislikes her job at the supermarket. One fateful night, she develops a severe case of appendicitis and ends up in the hospital where she shares a room with single mother Martha (Lisa Owen). While in the hospital Claudia bonds with Martha and her children who visit regularly. Though very ill, Martha remains undaunted in caring for her children and encouraging them to get the most out of life. Claudia eventually becomes an adopted member of the family and discovers what has been missing from her life all these years.
Writer/director Claudia Sainte-Luce paints a lovely and poignant portrait of a family and how they share their love with their newest member. This film is another ensemble comedy that takes to time to develop and flesh out each member of the family, giving everyone their moment to shine. The film does suffer from a pacing issue and drags in some parts, but the overall experience of watching this movie is truly uplifting and fulfilling. The film not only features solid performances by Owen and Ayala, but the young actors portraying Martha’s children represent some serious talent from Mexico. I would love to see more of Sonia Franco (Alejandra), Wendy Guillen (Wendy), Andrea Baeza (Mariana), and Alejandro Ramirez-Munoz (Armando) because they definitely have bright futures ahead of them.