Have a Nice Day Parent Guide
It could have been a good film - but it isn't.
Parent Movie Review
Have a Nice Day is a movie that could have been many wonderful things, but isn’t.
Have a Nice Day is a Mexican movie (I watched with English subtitles) about Enrique (Alvaro Guerrero) who once made a name for himself as a radio host along with his business partner and long-lost love of his life, Irma “La Bomba” Pimentel (Ana Sofia Gatica). Years later, attending a party being held by the radio station in their honour becomes the focus of Enrique’s life. He gets a job as a bagger in a grocery store in order to earn money for the trip to the party, which is being held in Mexico City.
From here, Have a Nice Day could have gone down many satisfying roads, but it didn’t.
It could have been a mentor-mentee movie in which Enrique shares wisdom and character-building life experiences with his fellow bagger, Picho (Eduardo Minett). Instead, Enrique and Picho’s relationship is mostly Enrique taking advantage of Picho’s good nature. Picho knows that Enrique is stealing food, but says nothing when Enrique is promoted to a security guard position at the store.
It could have been a heist movie if more attention were given to the cardboard that Enrique manipulates Picho into helping him steal in order to sell to recyclers, but when Enrique wants to move on to bigger things like stealing metal pipes and tubing from the store, Picho draws a line and refuses to help anymore. Enrique continues to steal quietly on his own. Not terribly engaging and definitely morally unsatisfactory.
It could have been a film about the redemption of the very unpleasant Enrique, about his turning from his life of selfishness and crime, but he’s never caught in his dishonesty and only profits from his crimes, raking in money with no consequences. He’s completely unrepentant and is actually quite proud of himself.
It could have been a movie about a man working to restore the second-greatest love of his life, his vintage Ford Mustang. We know that he wants to restore it, but aside from seeing him stealing to fund the project, all we know is that the car goes from being a corroded, barely-functioning mess with one working headlight to being perfectly restored. It would have been nice to see a montage of him working on it himself or at least driving it to a body shop, but, nope.
It could have been a fun road trip adventure when Enrique, Picho, and Amanda travel to Mexico City in the Mustang, but they pretty much just drive there.
It could be argued that this movie works as a quest story, but for the sake of avoiding spoilers, let’s just say that the culmination of Enrique’s earthly quest to find La Bomba is less than satisfying.
Add to all of this the near-constant drinking, smoking, and dozen-or-so f-bombs, and it all adds up to a very non-family-friendly movie that could have been so much better.Directed by Yibran Asuad. Starring Eduardo de la Pena, Andrea Chaparro Alvaro Guerrero. Running time: 93 minutes. Theatrical release March 14, 2023. Updated March 16, 2023