I recently reviewed a movie that I loved. I did not discover this until I saw the film, which I had not even heard of until recently. The movie is called Watching the Detectives. It is a movie that builds up a lot of goodwill through the excellent chemistry between its two leads. This pair carries the film despite its obvious flaws, and in the end I just absolutely loved it. Good actors and stories can do this, make you ignore the flaws that would sink other films that don't have that redeeming value. Why do I mention this? Under the Same Moon has a similar distinction. I cannot say that it is a good movie, as it tends to be a little on the melodramatic and manipulative side of the coin, but the performances by the leads and the emotional investment that the screenplay fosters is too much to ignore. This movie won me over.
Under the Same Moon is the emotionally moving, unrepentantly weepy drama about the love between a mother and son and the toll that extended time apart can cause. The further into the movie I got, the more difficult I found it to divorce myself from what was developing. It is not that I made an effort to --I didn't-- I did not see any reason not to get drawn into the developing drama. There is a very agreeable slow burn to the development; it takes its time letting you get to know the characters and what they are doing in as naturalistic manner as possible for a movie that plays dangerously along the realistic/unrealistic border.
At the center of the drama are Rosario and Carlitos. Rosario is a single mother in Mexico who wishes to give her young son a chance for a better life. To that end, she crosses the border illegally and works as a maid, raising money to send back to her son as well as to hire a lawyer while she studies to become a US citizen. The story picks up four years following her crossing. Carlitos is being cared for by his sick grandmother and feels abandoned by his mother, not to mention an absentee father. Both mother and son are struggling with their current status, always hoping for more.