UNDER THE SAME MOON

NOTE: This spoiler was sent in by Susan.

Rosario moved illegally to Los Angeles from Mexico four years ago, presumably to earn more money than she could make in her hometown. She left her son, Carlitos, in the care of her aging mother. Rosario and Carlitos talk every Sunday at 10am, payphone-to-payphone. It’s clear they miss each other terribly.

Shortly after his 9th birthday, Carlitos’ grandmother dies in her sleep. To avoid being taken in by his absent father’s brother & wife—who want custody of him just for the $300 Rosario sends every month—Carlitos takes matters into his own hands and starts a journey to L.A. He must reach her by Sunday so that she doesn’t worry when she calls the payphone and he doesn’t answer.

Unaware of her mother’s death—she has no phone—Rosario goes about her daily routine keeping two housekeeping jobs. It’s clear that she works very, very hard for little money. Paco, the security guard of the gated community where she works, is smitten with her and seems very honorable. But Rosario refuses his advances as she’s focused on working hard for Carlitos.

Meanwhile, after nearly being caught while smuggled over the border, then almost caught once again by the INS while helping ‘migrant workers,’ Carlitos hitchhikes his way to Tucson with his reluctant travel partner, Enrique. It is there that we think all of Carlitos’s troubles are behind him. His dad repents and vows to drive him to L.A., but then stands him up, leaving the little boy heartbroken and a bit wiser to the ways of the world. By this time Enrique’s cold heart has melted, and he acts as Carlitos’s guardian as they take the bus to California.

By this time, Rosario has been fired by one of her employers for dubious reasons. She tries to find work, but cannot. Rosario must decide to either return to Mexico or marry Paco, now a U.S. citizen. Rosario decides to sacrifice true love, and prepares for her wedding on Saturday.

Once in L.A., Carlitos discovers that he doesn’t have his mom’s address, just the address of a mailbox facility. Hope seems lost, until he remembers his mom describing the area where she calls him from the payphone. Enrique and Carlitos walk all around East L.A. looking for the intersection with the bus stop, the laundromat, the Domino’s pizza, the mural and the party store.

We cut to Rosario and Paco having a serious conversation before the wedding. She says she cannot marry him, that she must instead move back to Mexico. Paco is sad, but understands. He offers to turn the wedding celebration into her good-bye party. Everyone has a good time, and when Rosario dances with Paco, she starts to change her mind about him, seeing how true and honest he is.

The party is interrupted by Rosario’s nicer, more understanding employer. A friend of Rosario’s mother found the employer’s number and called, saying that Carlitos is missing. Rosario is visibly shaken, and starts to pack a suitcase to go home to find him, thinking that Carlitos is too young and couldn’t possibly make it across the border on his own. Paco convinces her to give it until morning.

At the same time Carlitos and Enrique end their search for the payphone. They settle in on a park bench for the night. In the morning, Enrique goes off to buy breakfast. When he returns, two cops are descending upon Carlitos, where they will surely discover he is in the U.S. illegally and deport him. Enrique make a bold move and, for the first time in his life, does an unselfish act by creating a distraction. While the cops go after Enrique, Carlitos runs off.

We see Rosario getting on a bus for Mexico. Saying good-bye to Paco, it hits her: what if Carlitos made it across? Knowing he doesn’t have her address, where would he go? Where would he think to find her on a Sunday morning?

We then see Carlitos walking despondently. Then, he sees a bus stop. And a laundromat. A Domino’s pizza. A mural. A party store. A payphone and!—his mother, standing across the street at the payphone. Cars zip by, and you hope Carlitos doesn’t jump out into the traffic. Rosario tells him to wait for the light, but they can both hardly contain their excitement. The camera focuses on the “Don’t Walk” light, and when it switches to “Walk,” the credits start to roll. We presume that Carlitos and Rosario are reunited!


*CUT TO THE CHASE*
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Rosario lives illegally in L.A. to make more money than she possibly could in Mexico. She left her son, Carlitos, in the custody of his grandmother, and they talk every Sunday morning, payphone-to-payphone.

After the old woman dies in her sleep, Carlitos decides to run away to L.A. to avoid being taken in by his absent father’s brother & wife—who want custody of him just for the $300 Rosario sends every month. After several close-calls with the border patrol, INS, and unsavory characters, Carlitos makes it to L.A. with reluctant travel companion Enrique. He doesn’t have his mom’s address, only a description of the area where she calls him from the payphone. Enrique and Carlitos walk all around East L.A. in hopes of finding the intersection.

Meanwhile, word finally gets to Rosario that her mother died and Carlitos is missing. She gets onto a bus the next morning, bound for Mexico, certain that her little boy would never be able to make it to L.A. on his own. Before the bus leaves, she realizes that if Carlitos were to make it to L.A., he wouldn’t know where she lives, but he could possibly be waiting for her at the payphone on Sunday . . .

After Enrique selflessly creates a distraction so Carlitos can escape from the police, the boy finally finds the intersection. In a perfectly slow reveal, we see his mom waiting for him across the street.  Cars zip by, and you hope Carlitos doesn’t jump out into the traffic. Rosario tells him to wait for the light, but they can both hardly contain their excitement. The camera focuses on the “Don’t Walk” light, and when it switches to “Walk,” the credits start to roll. We presume that Carlitos and Rosario are reunited!