Academic journal article Bilingual Review

We Lost It at the Movies: (With a Special Appearance by Rock Hudson)

Academic journal article Bilingual Review

We Lost It at the Movies: (With a Special Appearance by Rock Hudson)

Article excerpt

About the Play

The first time I saw We Lost It at the Movies, I very much liked the humorous, intelligent, and screenplaylike quality of the dialogue. I was also intrigued by the main character, a single mother who enjoys classic movies--or rather, the movies of her time that in today's society have become classics and who has one-on-one conversations with Rock Hudson, not because she is delusional, but rather because Hudson is her idol and she's able to call upon him whenever she needs him.

This play, like many of Reyes's works, presents a family in crisis, but it is not one of his typical dramas. Instead, We Lost It at the Movies is a comedy offering dramatic and sentimental moments and a great mix of one-liners. The family drama Reyes created is not a "kitchen-sink drama." Instead, the author presents us with a mother and a son who move from Chile to the United States, ending up in--where else?--Hollywood.

The move is made, as in the case of many immigrants, with the hope of a better life, and the main character, Rosalinda, will have to sacrifice a lot in order to make it in the United States. But this woman is not a soft, "in-the-kitchen" type of mother; rather, she's a very smart woman who knows what she wants, what she needs, and how to get it.

Like any other recent arrival, Rosalinda discovers her employment opportunities are limited, but she doesn't settle for just anything. She prefers to work for rich families, taking care of their children as a nanny. Yet she makes a point of saying that she isn't a maid; she has some education, and that separates her from other domestic help.

Rosalinda refuses to let anyone stand between her and a successful life, and we get to witness this determination when her bigamous late husband's other wife comes into the picture. It is in these types of confrontational scenes that Reyes brings to life likeable characters who are full of conviction and strength, separating them from the weak or hopeless. And although Rosalinda becomes manipulative, cold, and merciless, we understand her and we know her circumstances.

In contrast to this strong, driven, and almost cold character, Rosalinda's son is easygoing and wants to become a director of small budget films. It is through the son that we get to experience how two people who have a love for movies can be so different and yet so alike. And we accept them both because we share their humanity as they try to survive and adapt to a strange culture in a foreign country where the language is unfamiliar.

For cast and production information, see Appendix B.


ROSALINDA                       aging from her early
                                20s to her 40s

MEMO/NARRATOR                   a young man in his
                                early 20s

NORMA                           aging from her 30s to
                                her 50s

ARMANDO                         a man in his 30s

VLADIMIR/ROCK HUDSON            played by same actor,
                                around his mid-30s

GRANDMA/DOROTHEA/               played by same actress



Act One

Clips of famous films--luscious lovemaking at the beach in From Here to Eternity, Yuri and Lara bid farewell in Doctor Zhivago, Maria runs through the hills in The Sound of Music, Rhett kisses Scarlett on the bridge in Gone with the Wind, lovers are torn apart in Casablanca, Bette Davis and Paul Henreid have their final smoke in Now, Voyager, and any other movie with a lover waving goodbye from a moving train, and so forth, not necessarily in this order, and perhaps including many other clips depending on the designer, all creating a kaleidoscope of longing. These films should go up to 1965 and no later. Two women, ROSALINDA and NORMA, can be seen sitting on stools shucking corn. …

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