How the Garcia Girls Spent Their Summer (2005) - Synopsis
What does female desire look like? And how do self-inflicted limitations and social expectations shade and color it? In her tenderly comic, richly textured feature debut, Georgina Garcia Riedel lovingly explores the terrain of longing, loneliness, and self-realization among three generations of single women in a Mexican American family as they grapple with romantic drought. As sweltering summer stretches over a sun-bleached Arizona border town, Doña Genoveva (Lucy Gallardo), the Garcia family matriarch, decides to buy a car. The only catch is that she doesn’t know how to drive. When she enlists Don Pedro’s pedagogical skills, sparks begin to fly—at her house and beyond. Her daughter, Lolita, played with deadpan poignancy by Elizabeth Peña, seems to have hit a dry spell until things start to sizzle at the butcher shop where she works. Meanwhile, Lolita’s teenage daughter, Blanca, a radiant America Ferrera (REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES), engineers an awakening all her own. It’s as if the languid heat wave has thawed everyone’s defenses and jump-started a sexual revolution. Like the folks in the story, Riedel’s camera never hurries, savoring the poetic vistas and lazy rhythms of the rural Southwest without resorting to sentimentality. Her three heroines are utterly human—full of idiosyncrasies and unexpected charms. In each of them is a distinctive, newly discovered sensuality, an engine that drives them forward, kicking up dust as they go.