Pepe seeks the Mexican Dream. It’s a dream inspired by his recently deceased grandmother to own a home in America. With a tattered real estate advertisement (to own a home for $2000 down), his life savings, and little doll named Santo, Pepe enters the USA on a fake passport to seek his dream. But he finds that his savings isn’t enough for a down payment, he’s short $500. He ends up on a street corner hoping for day labor jobs.
The movie is not just about Pepe’s dreams but a multi-storied tale about Mexican immigrants. There’s the stressed out father, boxing wannabe, aspiring dress-maker, no confidence lawyer, and a couple of telenovela stars researching a role. Pepe even meets a girl and of course there’s a greedy American. They mow people’s lawns, build their schools, pick up their dog’s poo and take care of their kids. It’s pointed out that Mexicans don’t dominate the making of affordable spicy food. That crown has been taken by the Chinese, who according to the Mexicans, build a hell of a wall too.
On the downside the humour is simple, antagonist is cliché, and the production values aren’t the best. On the upside the film’s humour may be simple but it’s never mean and does have some laugh out loud moments. The movie does have heart, Pepe is a bit one-dimensional, but the other characters are surprisingly well-developed. By the end, I found myself cheering for the immigrants, I do wish it was a bit quirkier.