With a title that’s perhaps too literal, this modest Canadian debut feature examines the love triangle that forms among a silent-film professor, his Mexican mail-order bride, and her widow mother, who tags along to ease her daughter’s separation anxiety. But this isn’t a Graduate-style farce—it’s a sincere look at the difficulties inherent in obliged relationships. Linguistic barriers prove less of a problem than social and ethical quandaries (one student chastises her mentor for his “colonial” marriage practice), and try as they might, the characters have a hard time trusting one another. Even the couple’s most loving moments are soured by a hint of exploitation: Is she just using him as a gateway to a wealthier life? Can he possibly be as patient as he seems? The movie can’t resist putting its key points in italics, but it maintains a refreshingly unsentimental trajectory.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 19, 2004