Casa De Los Babys

Stars: Daryl Hannah, Lili Taylor, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Marcia Gay Harden, Mary Steenburgen, Susan Lynch, Vanessa Martinez, Rita Moreno
Director: John Sayles
Screenwriter: John Sayles

Something has happened to John Sayles. And it’s all bad. This creative writer-director has finally produced a lousy, boring movie. You’d expect with a solid cast of female talent as you see here, you’d be in for a good story and some exceptional dramatic moments. Nah.

Casa de Los Babys is about a group of stupid American women (Daryl Hannah, Lili Taylor, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Marcia Gay Harden, Mary Steenburgen, Susan Lynch) who go to some corrupt, greedy unidentified Latin/South American country (it’s shot in Mexico) where they’re gleefully taken advantage of and forced to stay for months on end as they wait to adopt the babies willingly given up by the stupid girls who get themselves pregnant.

Only marginal bits of the ladies lives are explored, as they shop, eat and wait. We barely get to know any of them, only as types: Daryl Hannah plays Skipper, a masseuse and fitness buff; Lili Taylor, a New York editor named Leslie who the others believe to be a lesbian; Maggie Gyllenhaal as Jennifer, a young wife married to a stock broker; Marcia Gay Harden as Nan, the despised whiner who seems to have every right to do so; Mary Steenburgen as Gayle, the even-tempered one; Irish actress Susan Lynch as Eileen who believes in the family bond. Rita Moreno is wasted as snippy motel owner Senora Munoz. Vanessa Martinez plays a maid at the motel and for whom, I think, we’re supposed to elicit some sympathy because she takes care of her siblings.

Lotta says: Surely the Independent Film Channel could have come up with a better project than this with which to spend its money on. The story stank, the film quality was exceptionally lousy; the subject was even worse. Be sure to miss it. Rated R for some language and brief drug use.

Reviewed: September 19, 2003