This week on Cinema Sips, I’m making the bold choice to feature a movie so unabashedly girly and saccharine that I run the risk of being ridiculed for admitting I really like it. But, I will take the heat because it pairs so well with a delicious summertime sangria. See what love I have for you readers? The movie I’m watching is Spanglish (DVD/Download), a 2004 James L. Brooks film that was forgettable to most people, but for me, has cemented its place in my pantheon of Sunday-afternoon rom-coms that I never get tired of watching. Because air-conditioned Sunday afternoons are what summer is all about, I’m popping this one in the DVD player and ignoring all the haters.
Spanglish stars Adam Sandler as a loveable, talented chef whose family hires a beautiful Mexican woman to be their housekeeper. He’s married to a cheating, neurotic mess of a woman (played a little too over-the-top by Tea Leoni) so of course the lovely Flor Morales (played by Penelope Cruz-lite Paz Vega) becomes the object of his desire. She doesn’t speak English, he doesn’t speak Spanish, but they fall for each other anyway. Flor’s daughter is also thrown into the mix as the families become closer over a summer spent at the beach. Perhaps it’s my envy of their beach house that keeps me tuning in year after year to this comedic saga, but I like to think I’m also responding to the excellent (as always) script by James L. Brooks, and the unexpected charm of Adam Sandler. He’s absolutely delightful in this, leaving behind all of the juvenile frat-boy humor of his youth (and unfortunately his present, by the looks of the trailer for Blended). Cloris Leachman of course steals every scene she’s in as the boozy grandmother of the family, and it’s because of her character that I’m never without a drink when I watch this film.
Cloris sticks mainly to white wine in Spanglish, so in honor of her amazing comedic talent, I’m mixing up a white wine peach sangria this week. Of course, part of this decision was based on the fact that peaches are wonderfully in season in Central Texas where I live, and I was hankering for a way to use them in something. I’m not much of a cook, so a fruity cocktail it is. When watching Spanglish, I recommend drinking a Sparkling Peach Sangria.
Sparkling Peach Sangria
2-3 peaches, sliced
¾ cup brandy
1 bottle sparkling wine (such as Moscato)
1 liter white peach seltzer water, chilled
In a pitcher, place ¾ of the sliced peaches and brandy and lightly muddle. Add the sparkling wine and seltzer water, stirring gently with a wooden spoon to mix. Pour into glasses (over ice if you’re enjoying this outdoors, or into a champagne flute if you want to be fancy like me!) and top with a few fresh peach slices.
I had the pleasure of enjoying this drink at a party over the weekend, and it did not disappoint! It’s best to mix up a big batch of this because the movie does run a bit long, but for me, that just means more Adam Sandler to love. Also, kudos to Mr. Brooks for capturing the neuroses of the interior design professional PERFECTLY (I say this because I used to be an interior design professional). Tea Leoni plays it so well. So sit back, drink up, and enjoy this movie about family, culture clash, forbidden love, and maybe the best looking sandwich ever captured on film. Cheers!