‘Yes Day’ Is the Number One Movie on Netflix and It Features a Mixed Latino Family
Representation for Latinos in Hollywood has a long way to go. Only 4.5% of the main characters in TV and movies are Latino, even though Latinos make up 18% of the U.S. population. And movies featuring a mixed Latino family? That almost never happens.
And when projects do focus on Latinos, the stories often focus on negative stereotypes, like drug trafficking and illegal immigration. But Netflix’s new movie, “Yes Day” takes a different approach to portraying modern-day Latino life.
“Yes Day” features a mixed Latino family in which one parent is Venezuelan and the other is white. The father is played by Édgar Ramírez and the mother is played by Jennifer Garner.
“Yes Day” is a lighthearted family film that tells the story of Allison and Carlos Torres as they commit to saying “yes” to their children (within reason) for a full 24 hours. Also, Jenna Ortega plays the eldest daughter, Katie. Since it’s premiere on March 12th, the film has been No.1 on Netflix’s top ten list.
Viewers are drawn to “Yes Day” because it is a positive, heartwarming piece of entertainment. While so many of us stuck at home, stressed and anxious about the state of the world, there’s something comforting about escaping it all for a while by watching a movie with the family.
Viewers are also praising “Yes Day” for their approach to portraying multicultural families. In short, the movie shows that the Torres family is just like any other family in America.
“Yes Day” doesn’t hit the audience over the head with the fact that the family is a multicultural, mixed Latino family. There are no grand speeches or traumatizing events. Instead, the family just is. They slip in and out of Spanish, eat arepas and pabellón, and go about their daily lives. “Yes Day” is a reflection of what the modern American family really looks like.
The movie’s director, Puerto Rican filmmaker Miguel Arteta, talked to NBC News about his vision for the film. “Like here’s a family, he’s Venezuelan, the kids grew up in Los Angeles, and they’re just a multicultural family, and we don’t have to really say much about it.”
He continued: “I think we live in a time where, why don’t we just show the world what the world looks like.”
Director Miguel Arteta said that the choice to make a positive family film with a mixed Latino family was a deliberate one.
“You do need those movies that talk about our struggles, and how difficult it is for Latinos in the United States,” Arteta said. “But also, you need movies that simply represent how this country looks, you don’t have to necessarily even speak about it.”
And according to Arteta, Jennifer Garner was stoked to be a part of his vision. “When we were discussing writing the script, I said to Jennifer, ‘would you be open to the idea of the husband being Latino?’ and it was the fastest yes that I have ever heard,” he said.
Arteta expressed that having the chance to have creative freedom over the casting process was a dream come true. “I’ve never had a chance to cast a mixed family like that before,” he revealed. “And I’ve been making movies for 20 years.”
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