Culture

Even Though The Cast Of ‘Home Alone’ Didn’t Include Any Latinos, These Are The 9 Ways I Could Totally Relate To The Movie

One of my favorite Christmas movies growing up was “Home Alone” — you know, the film about a wealthy white family that plans a holiday trip to Paris but accidentally leaves their son at home. Although my family isn’t white nor wealthy enough to afford holiday trips to Europe, there are moments throughout “Home Alone” that totally reminded me of my Latino family…

This opening scene where the entire family is scrambling trying to get ready for their vacation trip is totally my family.

CREDIT: HOME ALONE / HUGHES ENTERTAINMENT

It doesn’t matter how much time we have to prepare for a family trip, we always end up rushing last minute. And it’s a hot mess. This happens before trips, before a family party, before misa and every day before going to school.

Before jumping into their big van (also relatable) the McCallisters do a head count, which is pretty funny, but required when traveling with my huge family.

CREDIT: HOME ALONE / HUGHES ENTERTAINMENT

When people see my family they think we’re on a school field trip because of how many of us there are.

The scene where Kevin tricks the burglars into thinking his family is home, is the EXACT same security technique my family follows every time we’re away.

CREDIT: HOME ALONE / HUGHES ENTERTAINMENT

We didn’t have the money to buy security systems. Our security technique involved leaving the lights and television on, that way it seemed like there are people home.

When Kevin’s mom wasn’t around, he found the perfect recipe to cook: mac-n-cheese for dinner. That is spot-on what my meals looked like when I was in college and didn’t have my mom around.

CREDIT: HOME ALONE / HUGHES ENTERTAINMENT

I lived on Cup-o-noodles, mac-n-cheese and quesadillas because mom wasn’t around.

The most infuriating part about having siblings is when they eat all your food. I’ve definitely felt the same as Kevin when his brother eats  his favorite cheese pizza — in front of him!

CREDIT: HOME ALONE / HUGHES ENTERTAINMENT

I would’ve punched him on the spot. You don’t mess with my food.

But the difference is, I tend to react a little more like this:

Don’t. Mess. With. My food!!

Because of the love-hate relationship I have with my siblings, the booby traps Kevin sets on the burglars are inspiration for pranks I pulled on my brothers.

CREDIT: HOME ALONE / HUGHES ENTERTAINMENT

Muahaha. ?

And the way Kevin defends himself from the burglars reminds me of some advice my parents have always given me as a kid, which is: “No te dejes.”

CREDIT: HOME ALONE / HUGHES ENTERTAINMENT

If there was ever a kid at my school that was bothering me, my parents always told me to defend myself and never let anyone push me around.

Kevin’s mom also has some great guilt-tripping skills like my mom.

CREDIT: HOME ALONE / HUGHES ENTERTAINMENT

This sounds a lot like my mom when she says: “Que van hacer el día que yo me muera…”

But the final scene of “Home Alone” hits home for me the most.

CREDIT: HOME ALONE / HUGHES ENTERTAINMENT

Because I know the holidays wouldn’t be complete without my big Latino family.


READ: These Abuela Moments From ‘Jane The Virgin’ Are Hitting Home For Many People


How does “Home Alone” remind you of your family?

The Director Of ‘Mi Vida Loca’ Ended Up Adopting Her Daughter From One Of The Movie’s Real Gang Members After She Died

Entertainment

The Director Of ‘Mi Vida Loca’ Ended Up Adopting Her Daughter From One Of The Movie’s Real Gang Members After She Died

“Mi Vida Loca” is a cult classic. Latinos love this movie and it’s a part of our pop culture legacy, but when “Mi Vida Loca” first premiered in 1993 it wasn’t seen in the light that we see it today. A lot of critics panned it. One critic said that while filmmaker Allison Anders mixed “real gang members with up-and-coming Latin American actresses,” the ploy failed “to lend the film authenticity or vitality. The tone seems, to put it kindly, misguidedly romantic.” Another said, “While the characters are colorful and vibrant, the film is strangely flat.” However, this independent film represented much more than it was. For Latinos, it wasn’t just a low budget movie, it was ourselves on the big screen. 

It was Latinos representing Latinos. It was our story and no critic could ever take that away. 

Director Allison Anders was inspired to create “Mi Vida Loca” after meeting her daughter’s Latina friends.

The basis for Sad Girl and Mousey is based on real people that Anders saw in her neighborhood. Her daughter informed her mom all about the novela that was taking place right outside her door. In a 1994 interview with Bomb magazine, Anders said, “I had seen these two 14-year-old girls with babies on their hips, yelling at each other. So finally I said, ‘Devan [her daughter], what’s up with these girls?’ And Devan, who was nine years old at the time said, ‘Well, Christine and Marty were best friends since elementary school. Then Christine had a baby by Ernesto. But then Marty had a baby by Ernesto. And now they don’t get along.” And that is how the story of how Sad Girl and Mousey was born.

Anders said they filmed in Echo Park, which is where she lived too, right as the gentrification of the area was taking place. 

That meant she had to make sure everyone on the set was safe because real gang members lived there as well. Anders said the real gang members she met as inspiration for “Mi Vida Loca” were actually part of a gang that didn’t reside in Echo Park, but a neighborhood nearby. That tension of real actors and real gang members shooting a film in gang territory caused for some interesting days on the set. 

“I was very concerned however with keeping the real gang members in the cast and crew safe,” Anders said in an interview with Screen Slate. “So my producers and I involved the Echo Park members every step of the way to know which neighborhoods were safe for us to shoot in. We literally took them in the car location scouting to check out the safety. Sometimes the borders were block to block: “We can shoot down here—but not across the street.”

While some had issues that a white woman was directing a movie about Latina gang members, Anders said she got the dialogue approved by Latinas on the set.

Anders said that real gang members “approved every single draft of the script, and after a while could pitch it and give notes better than anyone I’ve met since, seriously.” She added that each person that was consulted on the film was paid and credited. “We even kept the money in the neighborhood literally – the art department rented set dressing from their homes – which also gave a sense of pride that a movie company was renting some banner they made for their bedroom to put on film. We rented the homes of the parents and grandparents of the Echo Park locas and locos. Make-up purchased the real stuff the actual girls wore from Woolworth’s on Sunset Blvd.”

Here’s one remarkable story about how Anders adopted the child of one of a Latina gang member that died before the release of the film. 

Anders said that Nica Rogers, a member of the Echo Park gang, died of an overdose at the age of 19. She was in a few scenes in the movie as well. Rogers had a son named Rueben who was left orphaned after the death of his mother, so Anders adopted him. He is now 28-years-old, married with his family and living in Texas. He is also working in the Hollywood industry. Anders also started a Nica Rogers scholarship that would benefit the youth in Echo Park. It’s so amazing to see this movie live on in not just on the screen but in people’s lives too. 

READ: Mousie And Sad Girl From “Mi Vida Loca” Are Ultimate #Friendshipgoals

Christian Navarro Allegedly Deleted Tweets That Called Disney Out For Saying They Wanted To Cast ‘European’ Prince Eric

Entertainment

Christian Navarro Allegedly Deleted Tweets That Called Disney Out For Saying They Wanted To Cast ‘European’ Prince Eric

Earlier this summer in July, Disney announced its decision to cast Halle Bailey from Chloe x Halle to play princess Ariel in their live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. Variety reported that although director Rob Marshall had spent a couple of months meeting with potential princess Ariel’s, the R&B singer Halle Bailey was the clear choice for the role of Ariel since the start. And while buzz from just a few weeks ago about a Latino prince had us pumped… 

It turns out Disney is still looking for their Prince Eric. And they want him a little more “European.”

From singer Harry Styles to now 13 Reasons Why actor Christian Navarro, there’s been a lot of rumors going on about who will play Prince Eric in the live-action adaption of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. 

Earlier in August, Navarro tweeted that he had heard Harry Styles pass on the Prince Eric role, so he threw his name in the hat so Disney could have its first “Latino Prince” alongside its first “Black Ariel.” 

After much support from his fans and after campaigning for about a month on Twitter to be the next Prince Eric, Navarro tweeted on September 3 that Disney had seen his tweet and gave his team a call. 

People on Twitter were quick to show their support of the actor and one fan told him, “you’re going to kill this audition! Hoping you’ll represent us in the Latinx community as becoming the first Latino Disney Prince. If not, at least you put yourself out there!” 

“They wanted to see what I could do,” the 13 Reasons Why actor wrote in his tweet. “Tapes sent. Fingers crossed. Let’s make some history.” 

But on Wednesday, according to Daily Mail, Navarro claimed that he was not cast as Prince Eric in the upcoming live-action adaption of The Little Mermaid because allegedly Disney wanted someone more “European” for the role. 

Yesterday, the New York-born and Puerto Rican actor, broke the news to fans that he had actually been turned down for the role. 

According to Daily Mail, Navarro wrote in a tweet along with an eye-roll emoji that, “Disney said no. They’d like someone more ‘European.’ And we know what that means. In good times be grateful. In bad times be graceful.”

However, the tweets in question don’t seem to still be posted on his Twitter account. Navarro has seemingly deleted them without explanation. 

Daily Mail further reports that although the actor didn’t explicitly mention The Little Mermaid live-action remake in any of his tweets, but fans were quick to assume that he was referring to Disney’s film. The publication has also reached out to Disney for further comment on Navarro’s claim about them wanting to go for someone more “European” looking.

Navarro’s tweet detailing the rejection received more than 2,500 likes in the first three hours that it was posted and according to Daily Mail, fans reactions ranged from supportive to outraged. 

One fan tweeted to Navarro that they were “disappointed.” 

“It’s their loss cause you’d have made a brilliant prince Eric without a doubt. I’m sure you’ll get better roles to play!!,” the fan added. 

It’s safe to say that we’re not necessarily surprised if Navarro’s claim were true since many people had a lot to say when Halle Bailey was cast as The Little Mermaid‘s Ariel.

 People on social media were quick to express their unsolicited (and racist) comments about Ariel being cast as Ariel. Disney’s decision was met with backlash as people objected to a black woman being cast as Ariel using the hashtag #NotMyAriel. 

But who cares what the haters say, right?

For many young women who have yet to see themselves rightfully represented in media, Disney’s decision is significant and a small step toward accurate representation. 

The Little Mermaid live-action adaptation will incorporate original songs from the OG animated film as well as new songs from original composer Alan Menken with lyrics by “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manual Miranda, Variety reports. Miranda is also part of the production team for the film.  

The film’s cast also includes Jacob Tremblay as Flounder, Awkwafina as Scuttle, Javier Bardem as King Triton and Melissa McCarthy as Ursula (a role that rapper Lizzo and “Truth Hurts” singer hinted at wanting as well). 

Production for Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid is set to begin in early 2020, but who knows if they’ll stay on the timeline when they have yet to fill the leading male role.  

Ultimately, we hope that this doesn’t dissuade Navarro from pursuing other roles that he wouldn’t normally go after because we need more actors like him representing the community.