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Margarita: Canadian sitcom-with-a-message is a little too earnest-cutesy

A scene from Margarita.

2 out of 4 stars

Written by
Dominique Cardona, Laurie Colbert, Margaret Webb
Directed by
Dominique Cardona, Laurie Colbert
Nicola Correia Damude, Patrick McKenna, Claire Lautier, Maya Ritter

The title character in this Toronto-set sitcom-with-a-message from the team of Dominique Cardona and Laurie Colbert (2007's Finn's Girl) is a Mexican nanny (Nicola Correia Damude) who makes family life run smoothly for a geeky dentist (Patrick McKenna), his volunteer-obsessed doctor wife (Claire Lautier) and their 14-year-old daughter, Mali (Maya Ritter).

When the family's overspending puts them in crisis, they tell the nanny they're going to have to let her go, although as they attempt to assume some of her chores, they fail at everything from working a blender to fixing an eavestrough. No wonder they can't keep up: The magical Margarita can cook, clean, do laundry, find bargain wines and even helps their daughter skip a year in high-school math, all the time earning about a dollar an hour. As well, almost every character in the film, including a handyman, Carlos (Marco Grazzini), is in lust with the comely Margarita, though she makes it clear she's a lesbian in love with a law student (Christine Horne).

The cast works valiantly and the cinematography is crisp, but trite characterizations and an earnest-cutesy tone make this movie feel like too much domestic labour.

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