A Universal Family

The Royal Tenenbaums may not be Latino, but they cut close to home

By Valerie Berumen
Published on LatinoLA: January 31, 2002

A Universal Family

You guys are probably thinking to yourselves, this movie is not Latino, or did I miss someone's name in the cast or production?

You are right!

To my knowledge there are no Latinos in this film, but I do believe in giving credit where credit is due, and this movie's is funny, even though it is not Latino.

It has a story line that is universally touching.

The all star cast includes Alec Baldwin narrating the story, Gene Hackman, as Royal Tenenbaum, the father. Angelica Huston plays Etheline Tenenbaum a strong loving mother. Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Luke Wilson, play the Tanenbaum prodigy children.

In this story, I find a lot of similarities to my Latino family, but like I mentioned earlier it is universal, so I think this kind of thing happens every day the world over.

The story begins with Royal the father, (as my mother would put it "El Chingon") being kicked out of the house. His character is the kind of man that swears he gave you money for your kid's birthday cake last year, but you know dam well and he knows dam well that he didn't give you jack pinto beans.

So Etheline Tenenbaum devotes herself to her children from that point on,
and is determined to create geniuses out of each one of them and succeeds.

In time they remove their father from the family even further, due to his abusiveness.

In time Royal loses his money, and is basically destitute, so he schemes along with the house hired hand to move back into the family home, by telling them that he is dying. After spending a few days with his family he realizes what damage he has done to them, and makes one sorry attempt after another to make amends to each of them.

They later discover that he's really is not dying at all and that once again he has played them, and that's when things get really funny. They put him back out on the streets along with the hired hand, but Royal is truly reformed.

Well I won't give away the ending, but I do want to say that this is definitely a movie worth watching.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

About Valerie Berumen:
Valerie Berumen, born and raised in Los Angeles, is a Super woman, actress, writer, and mother of two and can be reached at vberumen@ipsmso.com

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