Margarita, starring Nicola Correia Damude as the Mexican nanny Margarita, is the Canadian version of A Day Without a Mexican. In the same way that all of California comes to a screeching halt without Mexicans doing the actual business of making life work in A Day Without a Mexican, so Margarita makes life work for everyone around her. Only when she’s threatened with deportation, do the people around her notice how valuable she is.
Let me back up a bit. Margarita is the live-in nanny/housekeeper/Ms. Fixit for 14 year-old Mali (Maya Ritter) and her sorry-excuses-for parents, played by Patrick McKenna and Claire Lautier. She’s been working for the family for 6 years. She’s a lesbian whose girlfriend (Christine Horne) doesn’t want to get married. None of these people know Margarita’s in Canada illegally.
Margarita’s friend Carlos (Marco Grazzini) knows about her status. He’s also in love with her. That’s not working out too well for him.
Margarita is the stand-in mother to Maya and does literally everything that gets done in the house. The two parents, both doctors, are self-absorbed and fairly useless. Then they run out of money. The car gets repossessed. They have to sell the house. And they have to fire Margarita.
Figuring out how to live without Margarita is an eye-opener for everyone. Everyone loves her. Carlos loves her. Maya loves her. The two parents (who are not actually married) love her. Her girlfriend Jane loves her. Many of those people are willing to marry her to keep her from being deported. Well, except there’s that little commitment problem with Jane.
The film won some awards from gay and lesbian festivals, but I don’t think it’s a genre film. It is about a lesbian character but it isn’t a lesbian film. Yes, as Pennsatucky from Orange is the New Black would say, there is lesbianing going on. But as Cosima from Orphan Black would say, Margarita’s sexuality isn’t the most important thing about her. In other words, it’s a universal feel-good story that I think most people would enjoy.
Dominique Cardona and Laurie Colbert share the directing credits for Margarita.
Check out the trailer.
I found the film streaming on Netflix. I would guess it’s available from other streaming services as well.