Maricela (1986) - full transcript

Maricela and her mother Eugenia have fled El Salvador for the US with hopes of building a better life. Unable to find work in her profession as a school teacher, Eugenia becomes a live-in housekeeper to the affluent Gannett family. Conflict occurs when Maricela clashes with teenage Stacy Gannett, who resents her presence at home and at school. Can Maricela win Stacy's friendship and still remain true to her own ideals and values?

(grandiose music)

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(speaking Spanish)

- Would you mind?

I found a quarter.

- Berta.

They call this shovel, look.

I think it's because your feet get digging

into the ground, you know what I mean?

- She's doing the shovel.

- Say what?

- The shovel.

- There ain't no dance called the shovel.

♪ Here comes Johnny
singing oldies, goldies ♪

♪ Be bop a lula, baby what I say ♪

- See I told you you
don't know everything.

(speaking Spanish)

- Oh, I'll see you later,

I'm gonna go see my mom at work, okay.

- Okay, see you.

(bright Latin music)

(radio chatter)

(suspenseful music)


- Oh, mommy, mommy.

I thought immigration had taken you away.

- You went there?

Oh, Maricela.

I wouldn't let them get me.

You know that.

Don't worry Maricela.

We are safe now.

Try not to think about it, okay.

(speaking Spanish)

(clock chiming)

(helicopter whirring)

(guns firing)

Bad dream, huh?

Are you all right?

- When are we going to see Poppy again?

- Soon mi hija, soon.

- How soon?

- When the war is over.

- Couldn't he just come here now?

- Oh, Maricela, it's very
expensive to come here.

You know that.

I'm going to look for a safer job.

I'm going to look for a job as a maid.

- A maid?

- It might mean that I'll have

to live wherever the job is,

so maybe we both have to go there.

It would be a nicer place to live,

maybe a very good school.

You don't have to come

if you'd prefer to stay
here with your cousin.

You can.

- I read that if you're always more

than a half an hour late

that you're mentally unstable.

Maybe my mom should go see a shrink.

- Stacy.

- Well, actually she's
only 23 minutes late.

She's got another seven minutes to go.

- I think you're lucky your mom

went back to school.

I think it's neat.

- Isn't that a rad car?

Glenda's brother is so cute.

- Stacy, he's two years
older than you are.

- There's roadrunner, gotta go.

- [Rikkie] Bye.

- Honey.

Where's the roast?

Oh, Sam, come on, don't tell me.

Aw, nuts.

Here it is.
- Dad!

- So sorry.

♪ Please accept my apologies ♪

- Sam, you have the
memory span of a turnip.

- She's right, you know, Dad.

You forget everything.

- What did I forget?

- You forgot to sign my permission slip

for the volleyball meet.

- Well, you didn't give it to me.

- I put it right here.

- Oh.

- I have an announcement to make.

Stacy, I took your father's advice today

and I went to an employment agency

to look for a housekeeper.

- You're gonna hire a maid?

- A housekeeper.

A live-in housekeeper.

♪ Her hair is hollow gold ♪

- I still don't see why
there has to be two of them.

- Oh, Stace, if she's
doing us the favor of,

you know, living with us,

we can't very well ask her
to leave her daughter behind.

Besides, I think it'll be fun for you.

Maybe she can teach you Spanish.

- Does her mother drive?

- Stacy, we didn't hire
her to be your chauffeur.

- I know.

(kids chattering)

- [Maricela] Mommy?

- [Eugenia] Hmm?

- Maybe it's not a good idea

to write Poppy that
you're going to be a maid.

- [Eugenia] Maricela.

- He might not like it.

- These are not times where we get

to choose what we want to do.

We're lucky to be going there,

do you understand?

And another thing, I want it understood

that you are to behave.

You can't fool around there.

They expect things to be very neat

and very quiet (speaking Spanish)?

- I bet you're never gonna come back.

- That's not true.

- Bet you're gonna have color TV.

- You think so?

- I heard that they have someone open

the toilets over there.

- [Maricela] They do not.

- They do, too.

- It's probably not gonna be so different.

(light whimsical music)

- I know, I told them

it was totally hypocritical

to clean a house for a maid.

Yeah, you're gonna find out soon enough

that we're slobs.

I know, I can't believe it.

Frieda, if I never have to do another dish

it is okay with me.

(gentle music)

- Hi, I'm home.

Stacy, are you home?


- [Stacy] Yeah?

- Hi, honey.

I want you to meet somebody,

this is Eugenia Flores.

(speaking Spanish)

Our daughter Stacy

and this is her daughter, Maricela.

- [Together] Hi.

- This is Walker.

- This is Walker.

Hi, sweetheart.

Come on love.

- Do you wanna meet my dad?

- Sure.

- [Sam] KROC, the rock of the 80s.

I'm Sensational Sam Gannett.

- [Stacy] That's him.

- [Sam] The good stuff's coming up.

- Neat, huh?

- Well, this is it.

It's kind of small for two people.

- Oh, no, it's very nice.

- I hope you'll be comfortable.

- Gracias, thank you.

- And Maricela, come in here.

I want you to know that I know how hard

it is to come to a new house,

so what's ours is yours.

That means the radio, the TV

and feel free to raid the
refrigerator any time.

- Thank you.

- You're welcome.

- [Betty] This is the best
view of the living room.

(indistinct speaking)

Stace, are you here?

♪ Foxy ♪

♪ I'll remember you ♪

♪ When I've forgotten all the rest ♪

- That's lame.

♪ You to me were true ♪

("I'm On Fire")

- Would you like some new perfumes?

- Sure.

Wicked Wahini.

- Stacy, aren't you supposed
to be doing your homework?

- Mom, I don't have to study all the time,

you know, I'm not a retard.

- Did you finish the whole chapter?

- Mom!

She's super compulsive.

She thinks you should study all the time.

I guess it's because
she goes to law school

and she has to study all the time.

Maybe she just doesn't
wanna feel left out,

you know what I mean?

Hi, Ben.


I'll show you where your first class is.

- Okay, class, this is Marciella.

- Maricela.

- Marciella Flores.

You wanna please take a seat.

All right.

Now, we are going to
write a series of essays.

(students grumbling)

On the modern trends in
American social systems.

Now, I will write the
first topic on the board.

It is due next Wednesday.

Not next Thursday with a
note from your orthodontist,

but next Wednesday.

Now, how the women's liberation movement

affected me personally.

(sharpener grinding)

- You can sit down.

All right, what classes did they give you?

Okay, English, Ms. Cates, she's neat.

Algebra, PE, social studies, Mr. Cobb,

he is so cute.

Okay, what's first.

- This is our homework.

- What women's liberation
has meant to me personally.

Well, you see, I think what I wants

is like what does your father think

of your mother working?

- I don't know.

- Well, does he think like

that women should work in general?

- He thinks both peoples should work.

- [Stacy] It's not peoples, it's people.

Even though it means plural people,

it's always singular.

- People.

- Yeah.

Like, in El Salvador, did your mom work?

- [Maricela] Yes, she was a teacher.

- She was?

- She was teaching mathematics.

- Oh.

Well, like in El Salvador,

did you do housework or did you like have

to divide your housework up

between your brothers and sisters?

Do you have any brothers or sisters?

Well, those are the kinds
of things he wants to know.

Have you done anything else?

- I haven't done the rest yet.

- Well, then let's do something else.

Don't you wanna do something else?

- No.

- You sure?

Well, um, then if it's okay,

I'm gonna run over to
Rikkie's for a little while.

(gentle music)


Over here.

- Oh, let's not sit with them.

- Come on, Rikkie, they like you.

- No, they don't.

- Hi, guys.

- Hi.

I love that sweater.

- Thank you.

So Glenda, I saw your brother's new car,

it's too rad.

- I know, my mom says he's
gotta take me to school,

otherwise she won't pay
for his gas, not bad, huh.

- [Stacy] Cool.

Oh, did you guys hear that U2's coming

to the Sports Arena?

- [Glenda] The three of
us ought to get tickets.

- Yeah, that would be good.

- [Glenda] That'd be great.

We should try to get front-row seats.

- Hi.

- Hi.

- [Glenda] Maybe we can
try to sneak backstage.

- Yeah.

- Who was that?

- That was my maid.

- That's cool.
- Stacy.

- Rikkie, I was just kidding.

- We are gonna have so much fun.

Wow, I can't wait.

(bus squealing)

("Up Around the Bend")

- How was school?

Oh, Mari.

- Tell me your to three groups Maricela.

- Cyndi Lauper, Thompson Twins and

I can't think just many more.

- Do you like The Beatles?

- Oh, that's good.

Boy, if you didn't like The Beatles,

we'd have to ask you to move.

- Thank you, Eugenia.

Would you like to sit
down and have dinner?

No, thank you, I've already eaten.

- I'm home, hi, hi, hi.

- Meep meep.

- I'm sorry to be late.

Hi, darling.

Hi, Maricela.

So, did you get your test back?

- Yeah.
- And?

- 71.

- [Betty] I hope you mean 81.

- No.

- [Betty] Oh, Stacy.

- Mom, you even said it,

you never need algebra
again in your while life.

- You know what this means
about after school, don't you?

No more volleyball for
the rest of the week.

Well, Maricela, how was
school for you today?

- Fine.

- Hi, honey, are you there?

- Mom.

- Hi, sweetheart.

- Could you come here for a second,

I need to talk to you.

- Sure.

Hi, hi, hi, hi.

- I told Maricela that she could go

to the movies with us tonight.

- Oh, Stace, that's nice.

- But I don't think it's gonna work out.

Mom, Glenda's kind of prejudiced.

- Kind of prejudiced?

- Well.

She thinks that Maricela's a Mexican.

And I told her she was Salvadorian.

- Well, what that mean,

it's okay to be prejudiced
against Mexicans, Stacy?

- Mom, I didn't say I was,

I said she was.

- I know, I know you said that

and I don't think you should be friends

with somebody like that.

- Mom.

- Stacy, sometimes I worry.

I look at you and Walker and I worry

that you think that because

of the way we live that
everybody lives like this

and they don't.

You live a very privileged life, honey.

I'm saying that I think knowing Maricela

will help you to be
aware of the real world

and making friends with
her will enrich your life

and I really want you to try and do that.

- Okay.

- Okay.

♪ They didn't know him and
they didn't understand ♪

♪ They never asked him why ♪

♪ Get outta my way ♪

♪ They heard him shout ♪

♪ Then a blinding light ♪

♪ Ooh, all I could see ♪

♪ Was him running down the street ♪

♪ Out of the shadows and into the night ♪

♪ Now Billy ♪

♪ Billy don't you lose my number ♪

- Is that too loud?

♪ 'Cause you're not anywhere ♪

♪ That I can't find ♪

- I'm sorry, it wasn't my fault.

- Well, then let's lose her.

- Glenda, I can't.

- Then you sit with her.

- Why can't we just all sit together.

She's nice, you'll like her.

- No way.

- Are you coming?

- Where'd they go?

- Let's go.

Come on!

("Treat Me Right")

- Come on, I wanna go for a ride.

Come on, please.

- Hi, everybody.

- Hi, Rikkie.
- Hi, Rikkie.

- Hi Stace.

Hi, come on, get on, try it.

- Oh, okay.

- Okay ready.

- [Rikkie] How fun.

- [Stacy] Don't crash, please.

- Come on hop on.

- [Stacy] Oh, wait come on, I gotta go.

I'm supposed to be home by 10.

- Come on.

- Get in front, quick.

Come on.

- Okay, we're outta here.

(engine revving)

(metal crashing)

- [Man] Hey, buddy, you crashed my bike.

- Can I see some identification please?

(radio chatter)

- Okay, let's go.

- Wait, where's Maricela?




- I think she went around the back.

- Great.


- I think she was afraid of the cop.

- Great.

- Well, maybe she thought

they could pick her up or something.

- Pick her up?

- Well, you know, 'cause
she's probably illegal.

- Maricela!

Come on.

Nothing's gonna happen
to you, don't be stupid.

- I'm not stupid.

- Then what are you doing in here?

Come on, we're gonna be late.

- Are you okay?

Come on.

- Listen, you gotta back
me up on this, okay?

- I mean, what is it gonna take

to give you some concept

of the word responsibility, huh?

You're two hours late.

- Mom, it wasn't my fault.

- From now on, we are gonna pick you up,

we are gonna drop you off if we are free.

- Mom, Maricela saw that cops,

that's why we're late.

- [Betty] What?

- Maricela saw the cops and got scared.

That's why we're late.

- Is that true, Maricela?

You were scared of the cops?

- Yeah.

She ran away and it took
us ages to find her.

- Are you all right?

- I only ran away for five minutes.

- I'm appalled.

I mean, we give you all this freedom

and this is how you treat us?

You lie to us and you
blame it on Maricela?

I'm shocked, Stacy, I can't believe it.

Forget volleyball, forget the telephone,

not to mention any
thought you may have had

about going to the concert, forget it.

- What happened?

Did you have a fight with Stacy?

- I know, it's hard.

We're saving a lot of money this way.

If we keep saving like this,

maybe Poppy could come by Christmas.

That's only eight months away.

Do you want me to tell him anything?

I've already told what a
pretty lady you're becoming.

Please try to get along.

(wind whistling)

(baby crying)

(bells chiming)

(baby crying)

(gun blasting)

(baby crying)

- What is it sweetheart?

Hey, Maricela, thank you.

Hi, sweetheart, what's the matter?

Did you have a scary dream?

Did you have a scary dream?

Thank you Maricela.

What's the matter Maricela?

Is something wrong?

- I wanna go back home.

- Where to?

- To El Salvador.

- Oh, sweetie, it must be so rough.

You'll go back someday.


Daddy and I have been talking and

we think we haven't been
entirely fair to you

in all this.

Do you feel that we
pushed Maricela on you?

- Kind of.

- I thought I was doing something

that could help us and
help them at the same time.

- Well, it's not helping me any.

- I had no idea it
would be this difficult.

I should have talked about it with you

from the very beginning.

That was my mistake.

It was too big a change not

to discuss it with you

and not to include you.

- Ma, I have to go to school now.

I'm gonna be late.

(door closing)

(horn blowing)

- And you know what number this is?

What's this number?


- Four.

- In Spanish, you know what that is?

- [Walker] No.

- [Eugenia] Quatro.


- I know.

Craig was gonna take me to the concert.

I can't believe it.

She's not gonna let me go.

He's not gonna even remember that I exist.

I gotta go Rikkie.

Someone is spying on me.

Yeah, catch you later.

- I just wanted to say I was sorry.

- I bet you're sorry.

- Stacy, you think you're so cool.

You don't know everything.

- I know that you're messing up my life.

I went out of my way to
take you someplace with me

and you didn't appreciate it.

I tried to be your friend

and you ended up just
being a bit tattletale.

- You didn't want me to be your friend.

You wanted me to be your maid.

I'm not your maid.

- You know if I wanted to,

it'd be real easy to get rid of you.

- What could you do?

Your parents want me here.

- All if have to do is pick up the phone

and call immigration and
bang, you're out of here.

- You wouldn't do that.

(phone ringing)

- May I have the number for
the Department of Immigration?

- I'll save you the trouble.

(upbeat music)

- Where are you going?

- I'm going to Berta's house.

- Maricela, what happened?

- You said I could go to Berta's house.

- Maricela!


Maricela, wait!


- Maricela!

- I'm sorry.

I didn't mean it.

I wouldn't have really done it.

Where are you going?

I'm really, really, really sorry.

- You're just worried you're
gonna get in trouble again.

- I wouldn't have really called anybody.

I was just mad.

People get mad sometimes.

(upbeat music)

Let's get off at the next stop.

Come on, everybody's
gonna be worried about us.



- Don't follow me Stacy,
I'm not coming back.

You can catch the bus over there.

Don't follow me.

- I just wanna make sure
you have some place to go.

Then I'll go home.

Where are we anyways?

- This is where I live, goodbye.

- Maricela?


Is Maricela there?

- [Berta] Yeah.

Come in.

- Hi.

Um, I didn't wanna stay downstairs alone.

- You didn't like it out there?

But what about your mother,

you left her out there.

- [Maricela] She said I could stay here.

- But, she's gonna be alone out there.

- I know that.

- [Berta] Okay.

Look, my mom told me I had to go shopping.

Is that okay?

- Sure.

(bed squeaking)

- I'm really, really sorry.

You don't have to believe
me if you don't want to.

I don't blame you.

Why don't you just come on.

When we get home I'm
gonna tell my mom exactly

what I did.

She'll know it was my fault you ran away.

Why don't you just please come home.

- It's your home, it's not my home.

I don't have a home.

They bombed my home.

They burnt everything.

- Do you want me to go?

I'll leave if you want me to.

- One day,

we were going to the plaza

and we didn't know there were any problems

or anything that day.

And when we got there,

everything was quiet.

But then we see that
the government soldiers

are on one size of the plaza

and the Guerrilla ones are waiting

for them on the other side.

I was with my mom and my little brother.

And suddenly, my little brother

goes running into the plaza.

They didn't know it was just a little kid.

So they shoot their guns anyways.

I let go of his hand.

I should've held on.

Mommy told me to be careful.

Sometimes I think she's still mad at you.

- No, she can't be mad at you.

You didn't know he was gonna run away.

Aren't you gonna be
lonely without your mom?

I know mom and dad are gonna miss you.

I really want you to come back.

I know it's not your home,

but I want you to stay with us

until you get your own.

- You do?

- Hi.

Hi, babies.

Hi, sweetheart.

Sorry I'm late.

Hi, Eugenia.

- Hello.

- Well, how'd everything go today.

Is everything all right?

- Ask the girls.

- Everything's fine, mom.

(gentle music)

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