Despite a multi million dollar marketing campaign that began last summer, "Speed Racer" opened with poor reviews and a disappointing opening weekend box office. While "Speed Racer" might appeal to a childhood memory for a forty year old, a little movie like **How the Garcia Girls spent their Vacation** is more appropriate viewing for the more discerning viewer. "How the Garcia Girls spent their Vacation" is the "antiSpeed Racer."
The Garcia Girls live in a stark barren Southwest small town that must be inhabited by ghosts from the old Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns. The pacing for the film is slow. This slow pace "How the Garcia Girls spent their Summer" captures the spirit of a small town ignored by the urban mainstream culture. Facing chronic boredom, the three Garcia Girls get on each other's nerves and fight each other. With nothing left to do, the characters explore their sexuality.
Blanca (America Ferrara) is the youngest Garcia girl in high school. She does very little except walk around town with her friends. Blanca's mom, Lolita (Elizabeth Pena), is a weary divorcee whose lonely life revolves around her job at the butcher shop and keeping a clean home. Lolita's madre, Dona Genoveva (Lucy Gallardo) decides to learn how to drive a car so that she can flirt with her driving teacher.
With definite character traits described, director/writer Georgina Riedel sets up comedic conflicts between the Garcia girls and their Lotharios. Steven Bauer portrays Victor Reyes, the Casanova next door. Despite being married, Lolita has a crush on Victor and Victor is willing to fulfill her romantic desires, as long as his wife does not find out.
The most broadly funny romance is between Dona Genoveva and her driving teacher. Despite her age, the educational experience turns the old woman into a giggly infatuated school girl. With limited nudity, there is a sexual frankness when each Garcia girl contends with their respected Casanova. Ironically these most memorable scenes occur when the character is alone.
While individual actors are given private moments to shine, "How the Garcia Girls spent their Summer" is a pure ensemble character piece. Elizabeth Pena, America Ferrara, Lucy Gallardo are seen as three generations of bickering family members. Despite the pain of familiarity, the viewer witnesses the deep seated love of one another in humorous ways.
If you are expecting a fast narrative with superficial characters, "How the Garcia Girls spent their Summer" is not for you. "How the Garcia Girls spent their Summer" is a little slice of life about a community that is alien from most things portrayed by mass media. As we come to learn from the "Garcia Girls" living in such a stark town, it one’s choices and actions that determine one's happiness in this big world.