The Blue Diner | Chicago Reader

The Blue Diner

Lisa Vidal plays a bilingual Puerto Rican woman in Boston who's torn between her Irish employer's son (Jack Mulcahy) and a renegade Cuban artist (Jose Yenque) who may be using her to obtain U.S. citizenship. After a fight with her mother, who favors the Irishman, she mysteriously loses her ability to speak Spanish and, apparently, her Latino heritage as well. The script's quirky humor (Vidal sells caskets for a living, and the ashes of one character are accidentally used to pepper a dish at the title diner) never overwhelms the character-driven story, and director Jan Egleson mines themes of love, aging, and death without taking the material too seriously. Miriam Colon is hotheaded and wily as the mother, and cinematographer Teresa Medina makes the Boston locale seem as colorful as a tropical bird (2000, 100 min.).

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