Maya Indie Film Series 2011 (7 Films over 7 Days) – All She Can Review and Trailer

You see that guy in the above picture passed out while she-hulk gets pumped?  That’s actor Joseph Julian Soria. Unlike myself, he actually got paid to ignore one of the many dull weightlifting scenes.  I – armed with nothing more than a fresh cup of coffee and a dedicated stubbornness to always seeing a film through – was unable to take such liberties.  Okay, clearly from my average rating of two stars, the story of one ambitious weight-lifting teen and her recession hit family wasn’t that bad.  Then again, it wasn’t all that good either.

Playing as a portrait of sorts, the film follows high school senior Luz (Corina Calderon) and the many weights – both literally and figuratively – that she must bear in order to make everyone, including herself, proud.

Figuratively, the pressures of not letting her family down, losing touch with her Mexican roots, and winning the state finals are weighing on her shoulders like a ton of dumbbells.

Literally, she’s the only member of her family with a shot at attending college.  Being too poor to pay for admission, her ticket to higher learning rests in a weight lifting scholarship.  But there won’t be a scholarship if she can’t first win in the State Finals, so in true after-school-special fashion, Luz turns to illegal steroids and starts down that self-destructive road of bad decision-making. Oh, the things we do to reach our ambitious means.

Yet even more ambitious than Luz’s struggle to achieve success is Director/Co-Writer Amy Wendel‘s attempt at adding layers of levels to an otherwise already engaging story.  Wendel does all she can (couldn’t help myself) to avoid the subtleties that are normally associated with smaller low-budget indie dramas.  Apparently, there wasn’t enough of a story in Luz’s senior year struggles to obtain a scholarship amongst her recession stricken environment. Wendel’s protagonist needs to also be incarcerated, as well as partake in an illegal immigrant rescue mission.

Aside from an inflated script, the acting, for the most part, is hit or miss.  Fortunately, Corina’s portrayal of Luz was a believable one, unlike most of her peers who most of the time seem to be reading from a cue card behind the camera.

In summation, a fitting analogy: If Cinema is the varsity of all movies and after school television specials are junior varsity then All She Can would probably make the varsity squad – although I’m pretty sure the only time it would see action was if one of the starters like The Wrestler, Crazy Heart or Million Dollar Baby were to be injured.

Showtimes for All She Can:

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