A portrait of young Latino women in the Los Angeles barrios, Allison Anders’ Mi Vida Loca is a particularly disappointing follow-up to Gas, Food Lodging. Dramatically fuzzy and very flat visually and in performance, this slice-of-life look at the gang culture is scarcely a satisfying treatment.
The drama focuses on two gang girls, Sad Girl (Angel Aviles) and Mousie (Seidy Lopez), lifelong friends who nearly come to blows after discovering they have been sharing the same man. The three-part tale then follows the lives of these women and several of their friends as they have babies, pursue relationships with invariably unreliable men, strike attitudes and try to figure out what to do with their lives.
The only woman with any real illumination about a positive life course is Giggles (Marlo Marron), who on release from prison announces she is going to go into computers, a remark met with derisive incomprehension.
Most of the dialogue, when it prevails over the voiceover, consists of banal everyday conversation or attitudinizing, and Anders’ staging of scenes is listless and unimaginative. The actresses’ range seems limited at best.