Sense and Sensibility Bicentennial Challenge at Austenprose. This chick flick is a modern adaption of Sense and Sensibility and follows the same basic story: two sisters are left with nothing excluding the hospitality of friends after their father's untimely death. But while they are adjusting to their new lives they must also adjust to the complications of dealing with the new cute boys who walk into them.
Sisters, Nora (Camilla Belle) and Mary (Alexa Vega) are both used to living the good life in LA and are totally unaware of their Mexican roots that their father is so proud of. However when he is suddenly killed by a heart attack Nora, a law student, and Mary, a shopaholic must live with their aunt and her Spanish-speaking brood in East LA. Instead of the sounds of the seaside like the Dashwood sisters the unfortunate Dominguez sisters are destined to the sounds of gunshots ringing through the air. How ghastly!
From Prada to Nada is marketed as a Latina Sense and Sensibility which is apparent but not heavily so, because while it follows the same plotline familiar to Austenites, it is also laden with the theme of being connected to your culture. While Elinor's gentle, stoic personality makes her such a silent main character in the book, her equivalent, Nora is more silent in regard to experiencing life. She is focused on being a law student but at the same time has the Elinor quality of being devoted to family. Interesting enough, while Marianne's ups and downs seem to take a major precedence in the book due to Marianne's loud personality, From Prada to Nada focuses more on the ups and downs of Nora and Edward Ferris' (yes that is his name) relationship. I found that especially interesting because it seems like the Willoughby not writing back in London drama could write itself (he hasn't been texting me!) but the movie was totally void of that altogether.
You won't find any monumental acting in the movie nor any great writing; it's up to par with the kind of acting/writing you would expect from any girls' sleepover movie. I had seen Camilla Belle before in The Ballad of Jack and Rose with Daniel Day-Lewis and she did a much better job in that at a much younger age. So I am inclined to think the director had every intention for the movie to take on a simple, light-hearted feel.
From Prada to Nada is silly, unrealistic, and far from winning any Oscars. However I thought it was very cute, and appealed to my inner girly, I-love-happy-endings side. Which is probably what drew me to Austen to begin with! The word to describe it is "cute" and it would be a good movie for a girls' night in or for a relaxing night to yourself. Anyone with high expectations or a jaded inclination should probably avoid this movie; but then again I would categorize myself as that so perhaps just a cheesy movie mood will prepare you for this one.