I’ve enjoyed the Casa de las flores saga through its many iterations: three regular seasons, the bonus funeral episode, losing its star matriarch Verónica Castro, adding in timeline-hopping subplots, and now ‘the movie.’ The thing that makes telenovelas distinct and (even as a long-standing and on-going Grey’s Anatomy fan) I’d argue superior to their Anglo counterparts is that they end. So while I recommend watching Casa de las flores: The Movie, I do hope it concludes the de la Mora family saga.
We’ve officially now seen these characters do it all.
Better than a long episode, The Movie sets up an Ocean’s 11-esque heist with fan-favorite Paulina in the George Clooney role. It’s a love letter to fans, the chance to spend a few more hours with our favorite siblings, their dysfunction and hijinks dialed up to a level only a telenovela can pull off. Yes, there’s laser dodging, drag queens, and an update on Elena/Diego/Julián’s baby.
There’s also all the things that made Casa de las flores so notable since its premiere: first and foremost the way it normalizes the LBGTQ Latinx experience. Julián and Diego are a happy couple now, no question of breaking up as they co-parent that baby. Yes the viral porn Julián made comes up and yes, he tries to use his good looks to influence El Chiquis, but there’s no real threat to our favorite couple (and gay men like El Chiquis are not so easily manipulated – he easily sees through the plot and turns Julián in).
Paulina and José Maria are through their ups and downs too – we see them doing their thing, supporting and undermining each other like only an old married couple can. That José Maria is a transgender woman and the first time Paulina feel in love with her was before she transitioned, well, that’s ancient history and rightfully so. They’re just a normal couple now. Same goes for the queens who run the floral shop – their existence and gender identity are no longer radical like in that first season. Now they’re just a regular part of our cast of characters. It’s refreshing.
But of course, not everything can be good – The Movie continues Casa de las flores traditions good and bad, bringing the show’s colorism problem along with it too. With Elena’s Black boyfriend Dominique long gone, this is a show about white Latinxs doing white things – being rich and silly, privileged and problematic. There isn’t any examination of racism or colorism in The Movie, the show having left that for seasons past. Mark that on the tired side.
But if you have gotten this far, you might as well finish the series and keep rooting for Paulina. She’s a truly delightful character, the type women rarely get to be – smart and ridiculous, beautiful but not particularly sexy, a bad mom but our heroine. Here she’s playing into all the things that make her great, with El Chiquis declaring at one point, “Watch out for that one. She talks slow but she thinks fast!”
Paulina does indeed think fast and The Movie is animated by that and the de la Mora matriarch’s decisions, past and present. Casa de las flores is remarkably female-centered, showing how one woman made this family and its legacy, building in the flaws that she’d later push upon to make it crumble. It’s a nice universe to visit even if I wouldn’t plan to stay too long. So cheers to the de la Mora family and may we not see any more of them again!