Low-key, sentimental but rather amiable drama, starring Seidy Lopez ("Mi vida loca") and Jaime Gomez (television's "Nash Bridges") as the key lovebirds, and Zach Galligan as the cuckold hubby-to-be who may or may not get to the altar as planned.
First Look's DVD offers a full frame transfer of Vincent Jay Miller's debut feature, shot in the less ostentatious suburbs of Los Angeles and a few scenes in Mexico. The film's cinematography varies in quality - sometimes beautifully lit, and occasionally grainy in several afternoon interior sequences that become rather distracting. Overall it feels as the though the colours were boosted for the DVD - not necessarily a bad thing - but the more visually coarse scenes benefit the least from the cosmetic blushing.
The film's soundtrack is a clean stereo mix, with Leo Marchildon's score - isolated on a separate audio track - mixing various styles and moods for the melange of light comedy and passion.
The DVD's extras include separate interviews with Seidy Lopez and Zach. Lopez answers basic questions regarding her character, and reinforces one of the director's main goals - to show Latin Americans as everyday professionals instead of unpleasant criminals (although a vignette as Gomez enters Mexico is less effective). Galligan's segment tends to focus on the theme of infidelity, and improvising during the rehearsal process, though he's less concise in delivering a final opinion on both subjects.
Trailers for "Gabriela" and future First Look DVD releases finish off the disc, though an opportunity was lost in adding some resonance to the efforts in putting together an independent feature film. Material from the film's official web site could easily have been added to the disc - including bio data, filmographies, stills and promotional materials - and a director commentary track from U.S.C. graduate Miller would have bolstered the disc's stature among an increasingly wider sampling of indie films making their way to DVD rental and sale shelves.
© 2002 Mark R. Hasan