Quinceañera (2006) - Synopsis
“Quinceañera” is a look at what happens when teenage sexuality, age-old rituals, and real estate prices collide. It is a reinvention of Kitchen Sink drama, fueled by the racial, class, and sexual tensions of a Latino neighborhood in transition. Magdalena (Emily Rios) is the daughter of a Mexican-American family who runs a storefront church in Echo Park, Los Angeles. With her fifteenth-birthday approaching, all she can think about is her boyfriend, her Quinceañera dress, and the Hummer Limo she hopes will carry her on her special day. But a few months before the celebration, Magdalena falls pregnant. As the elaborate preparations for her Quinceañera proceed, it is only a matter of time before her religious father finds out and rejects her. Forced out of her home, Magdalena moves in with great-great uncle Tomas (Chalo Gonzalez), an old man who makes his living selling champurrado (a Mexican hot drink) in the street. Already living with him is Carlos (Jesse Garcia), Magdalena’s cousin, a tough cholo who was thrown out by his parents. Carlos does not disguise his disapproval of Magdalena’s arrival. The back house rental where Tomas has lived happily for many years is on a property that was recently purchased by an affluent white gay couple (David W. Ross and Jason L. Wood) — pioneers of gentrification in the neighborhood. Inevitably, worlds collide when they become entangled in the lives of their tenants. As Magdalena’s pregnancy grows more visible, she, Carlos, and Tomas pull together as a family of outsiders. But the economics of the neighborhood are turning against them. Ultimately, this precipitates a crisis that threatens their way of life.