An international soccer star is on his way to sign a multi-million dollar contract when a series of events unfold that bring his career to an abrupt end. A beautiful waitress, struggling to make it in new York city, discovers something about herself that she's unprepared for. In one irreversible moment their lives are turned upside down, until a simple gesture of kindness brings them both together, turning an ordinary day into an unforgettable experience. Bella is a heartwarming tale of friendship, family and our capacity for love in the face of the unexpected.
Alejandro Gomez Monteverde
Alejandro Gomez Monteverde (writer); Patrick Million (writer); Leo Severino (writer).
Eduardo Verástegui (Jose); Tammy Blanchard (Nina); Manny Perez (Manny); Ali Landry (Celia); Angélica Aragón (Mother); Jaime Tirelli (Father); Ramon Rodriguez (Eduardo). Please contact SFC to add other cast members and characters.
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Mark Banks (United Kingdom)
I liked this film more than I thought I would do and it's made it into my Top 100. First, I'll get the one downside out of the way, and that is under-writing of the main characters. I finished the movie wanting to know more about Jose and Nina, wanting to feel a little more empathy for them, wanting to laugh a little more with them, smile a little more with them, but that didn't quite happen. In fairness, I know the producers were on a budget and the film was relatively short in length, but I'm not sure that's an adequate excuse. That said, the first unexpected upside of the film was the inclusion of some good Mexican culture - which I thought was a good thing. I liked the focus on the family and the food, even the music and the dress; it all had a bit more passion and life than the usual American fare. And second and most important of all, was the degree to which I felt this film really could be a good vehicle for getting a not-too-explicit pro-life message out to society. And what's more, which was highly unexpected, was the degree to which I think this film could appeal to guys (at least outside of the US anyway where football (sorry "soccer") is widely played and revered). I have three friends that because of the food and football connections I think this film could appeal to. And that for me, gave Bella a thumbs up.
Heartfelt but plagued by story problems
Clayton Emmer (United States)
Opinion: Limited Recommendation
Bella was heartfelt, genuinely moving at times, had moments of humor and grace and was all-around humane. The performances were good, especially Tammy Blanchard as a single mother-to-be. It was filmed with care and style. No bitter aftertaste, really. I'm glad it was made and the artists involved have a right to be proud of what they achieved. Now for my criticisms of the movie, mostly from a story point-of-view. I did feel it was too long, for the amount of story presented. It would have worked better, in my opinion, as a short film. As a feature, I felt the parts of the story left untold were excessive. Without getting into spoilers, I'll just say that the character arc for Eduardo's character was pretty much unexplored -- and the largest part happened off screen and before the main narrative. I would have found his character more interesting if there were character flaws -- things he had to overcome -- but nothing of the sort really surfaced... All we know about his former life is that he liked soccer and dancing and had a lot of money... not really character flaws. Maybe a bit of an inflated ego. Later he no longer dances, plays soccer or has money... he's a simple bearded man, a cook, and a generous, humble soul. How did it happen? Not many details here. But to be fair, it's not his film -- it is more about Nina (Tammy Blanchard) and her choices. Again, her choices happen pretty much offscreen, so we're left with before and after. I liked her character more, because she had some rough edges which made her believable.