Telenovelas rock. They just seem to be so much more soapy and operatic than U.S. serials. Even though I don’t speak much Spanish, I love the over-the-top drama of it all.
That’s why I’m looking forward to seeing Casi Divas, a Mexican film about four women vying to become the next big telenovela star.
Casi Divas is the story of four young women competing for the lead in the movie version of a popular telenovela. The women are from very different backgrounds and each satirizes a stereotype of Mexican society.
Francisca (Maya Zapata) is a shy Indian from Oaxaca.
Ximena (Ana Layevska) is a formerly pudgy rich girl who now is thin but miserable – and really hungry.
Catalina (Diana Garcia) is a troubled factory worker from Ciudad Juárez, where young women disappear with alarming regularity.
Yesenia (Daniela Schmidt) is a flamboyant hairstylist from a poor section of Mexico City.
The women share a dream of changing their lives through fame. And even though the American Idol type pageantry pokes fun at the drama behind the scenes of such contests, the movie tells some important stories in the process. Casi Divas touches on racism, gender identity, body image and the horrors of the sex slave industry.
Here’s the trailer:
Casi Divas opened last week in Los Angeles, New York and Miami — the three biggest Latino markets in the U.S. — with hopes that at least a moderate success will pave the way for independent Mexican productions to attract interest from U.S. distributors.
Does Casi Divas spark your interest? Can movies like this succeed in the U.S.? If you’ve seen Casi Divas, what did you think? (Please avoid spoilers in the comments — thanks.)