Reviewer's grade: B+
This tear-jerker from Mexico on the plight of one nine-year Mexican national's journey from his home town south of El Paso, Texas across the American southwest to find his mother, who has been working illegally as a maid in Los Angeles for four years, is far more entertaining, humorous and real than a one sentence plot summary would lead you to believe.
Kate del Castillo as the mom practically dissolves on the screen as Rosario has to choose between marrying a decent man she doesn't love because he us a U.S. citizen or chuck it all and go home to her son, Carlito (Adrian Alo nso, "The Legend of Zorro"). ("Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants," TV's "Ugly Betty") has a small but pivotal role as an American college student who smuggles Carlito across the border for $1,200, and the rest of the Mexican cast, especially as the boy's reluctant traveling companion, is spot on at killing the notion that Cheech Marin faithfully represents the Hispanic character. PG-13