"Waterberry Tears," "Uva Mala," has heart, and not much else, like its protagonist, gay teenager Goyo, who looks like a Latino Adam Lambert.
Adrian Aldaz’s 90-minute film follows this immigrant Mexican family from their trailer park home to the sunbaked Coachella Valley, California, fields (which compete with Arizonan and Mexican crops), where grapes that are smashed within a bunch, called "waterberries," are as unwanted as homosexuals in this community.
Dad Ramon is abusive, alcoholic and homophobic, and mom Cuca is a doormat enabler. Their twin 17-year-olds, Goyo and sister Rosa, fall for the same out-of-towner Lucio, tall and violent, who smacks everybody around with equal brio, fueled, as are all males here, by a constant supply of Dos Equis (the product placement here is the antithesis of "The Most Interesting Man in the World" commercials).
Jaime Soria’s script is one-dimensional, following only one thin storyline, but the cast of local, non-professional actors makes up in charm and earnestness for what they lack in technique, especially Cirenia Guerrero as neighbor Flor, who doesn’t put up with machismo mierda from anybody.
The film, presented in both English and Spanish, won a Silver Palm Award at the Mexico International Film Festival, and was an Official Selection at the Palm Springs LGBT Film Fest. Exploring entrenched stereotypes and family challenges within the hard-working immigrant worker population is a timely and important artistic endeavor, but more depth here would have yielded more fruit.