Hernandez and Dunst make a sizzling yet beautiful combination as the young couple fighting to pursue their love and for once there is no fairytale involved. Life is tough for both parties and although at face value their lives appear to run at different ends of the spectrum, at a closer look you can see they are striving for similar endings.
The story ends in an interesting and heartwarming way with the straightlaced hardworking Carlos willingly sacrificing his promising future in an attempt to save Nicole(Dunst) from her self-destructive one.The movie ends with a satisfying and interestingly realistic final that restores faith and passion for both love and life.
Overall I believe this work to be an exceptional and very under-appreciated movie, in my opinion worthy of awards. It not only gives a rare opportunity for a latino actor to play a hardworking, gifted and more importantly moral character - in slight but noticeable contrast to the ever popular stereotype for latino actors - but it also reflects real life while supporting beliefs of true love without the soppy, mushy effect created by so many other movies of the same genre. Both Hernandez and Dunst are exceptional and the direction and storyline leave little to be desired. Five stars easily.
"You can be anywhere when your life begins..." For Nicole (Kirsten Dunst) that is at 17 years old, when she meets Carlos Nunez (Jay Hernandez) for the first time. Nicole is picking up litter at the beach and Carlos is there with his friends. They meet because one of Carlos' friends is a bit cheeky. Carlos' friends are no real actors, they know all about poverty and that is the reason why they have been picked for the movie, to give it more credibility. Carlos and Nicole find out they go to the same school: Pacific high. This is how the story starts...
Nicole and Carlos spend more and more time with eachother and slowly start to feel more for one another. Carlos is studying to become a pilot one day at Annapolis, while Nicole doesn't know what she wants to become. Nicole is a troubled young girl. Her mother commited suicide when she was 12, but this is not what she tells Carlos. Carlos finds out about the truth through Nicole's father. Nicole her father is a delegate and is willing to get Carlos to Annapolis, as long as he stays away from his daughter. Nicole is the type of girl that messes things up for everyone around her. I must say that Nicole's stepmother is not making things easier.
Carlos is not willing to give her up and runs off with her. A smart move, as it turns out in the end. He guides Nicole in the right direction, but she makes the final choice herself.
A beautiful movie about so many feelings. Friendship, happiness, sadness, love, anger, confusion... Kirsten Dunst has put down a great performance, truly touching. I didn't know anything about Jay Hernandez, until I had seen this movie. I must say he left a great impression! Kirsten and Jay have a great chemistry on screen! It is a movie that has everything and truly is one to watch...
The part of the movie that made it special for me is where Nicole makes her bedroom Carlos-proof!
Enjoy the movie, it is worth it!
Nicole Oakley (Kirsten Dunst) is seemingly a lucky teenager. Blessed with good looks and wealth, she lacks for nothing. Or does she? Carlos Nunez (Jay Hernandez), the son of a poor, Mexican single mother, is an intelligent teenager, also blessed with good looks. He is also his family's hope for the future.
Nicole carries a lot of baggage with her, due to some serious family issues she has yet to work out. She and Jay meet. He manages to see beneath her hard, wild, devil may care veneer. She realizes that Jay treats her as a person and not a boy toy. He manages to look below her hard exterior and sees her vulnerability, as well as her innate kindness, and is touched by it. They manage to fall in love but not without experiencing a few bumps on the road.
Having some serious self-esteem problems, however, Nicole is on a downward spiral towards complete self-destruction, almost taking Jay with her. He basically pulls her out of the tailspin just before these star-crossed lovers both crash land. For the viewer, it is, however, a ride well worth taking.
Kirsten Dunst gives a wonderful performance as the angst ridden Nicole. Jay Hernandez is excellent as the stalwart, hard working, teen from the barrio whose family is pinning all their hopes for the future on him. Bruce Davison gives a very good performance as Nicole's tolerant, but bewildered, father who wants to make Nicole happy but does not know how to do so, until it is nearly too late.
Teens and adults alike will enjoy this well-intentioned, coming of age drama.
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