Ryan Chartrand

Teenage pregnancy, alternative lifestyles and traditional family values all crash head-on in this poignant story centered around life, love and loss.

Magdalena, played by Emily Rios, is a happy teenager growing up in Echo Park, the heart of Los Angeles. Magdalena’s 15th birthday is quickly approaching and she is excited about her upcoming quinceañera. Her mind is focused on her friends, on the Hummer limousine she wants for her party and on Herman, the first boy she really likes.

Everything in her teenage world is just fine.

Until Magdalena learns she is pregnant.

In an instant, everything in her world is turned upside down.

Following a bitter fight with her father, a Catholic priest, Magdalena immediately packs her belongings and leaves home. Magdalena ultimately loses Herman after his family sends him away to college and her world slowly crumbles.

Magdalena moves in with her elderly Uncle Tómas (Chalo González) and her cousin Carlos (Jesse Garcia), who has his own set of unique problems.

Carlos is a troubled young man whose anger often takes him down the wrong path. He moves in with sympathetic and understanding Tío Tómas after being kicked out of his family’s house.

Carlos experiments with a gay lifestyle. At first, he and Magdalena clash, but in time they learn the value of family and become close.

Carlos meets Gary and James, the gay couple who live in the front house and also own the property that Tómas, Carlos and Magdalena live in. Carlos initially becomes involved with his landlords in a sexual relationship. Eventually it turns sour as only Gary and Carlos continue to see each other behind James’ back.

As James discovers the deception, he retaliates by sending an eviction notice to Tómas, giving him 30 days notice to move out of the rear house.

Carlos and Magdalena develop a bond as they try to find another place to live. In the process, Tómas dies and everything is once again left displaced.

During the funeral for Tómas, Carlos delivers a memorable line that correlates with the film’s themes. Carlos stands up and tells those attending the funeral of his Tío Tómas, “he loved everyone and he judged no one.”

As the film wraps up, Carlos takes Magdalena to a specialist, where they discover that Magdalena is pregnant from a condition called “non-penetrive conception,” which explains her miraculous pregnancy.

Magdalena reunites with her father, Carlos begins to find the acceptance that he desires from his family and eventually, he escorts Magdalena to her quinceañera.

Overall, this film is an exercise in the values of acceptance, tolerance and understanding. It contains words to live by in a day and age when society is at a crossroads of sexual lifestyles, boundaries and limitations.

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