The film is about two families: the Clasky family, a reach American family, and their mexican housemaid Flor with her daughter. Flor has moved to the US in attempt to make a life better for her daughter Christina, she works hard, but when her daughter grow older she has to change her job in order to spend more time with her. Though after all the years spent in the US she still does not speak English, she finds a job at the Claskys. The differences between two cultures, American and Hispanic, are empathized through the whole film. There are a lot of cross-cultural encounters in the film, because it follows two families with very different cultural background. the image of the families is rather stereotypical: the american family is rich, they live in a big house with a pool in a suburb, they have two children and seem to be successful.
Deborah, the wife, is a fitness manic, obsessed with her appearance. She thinks that problems can be solved with the help of books and manuals, this is quite stereotypical, because Americans seem to have guides for everything. It is a common belief that life can be easily improved and one just have to follow some instructions to do it. On the contrary, Flor with her daughter, who illegally immigrated to the US in search of a better life, live with their relatives in a small flat in Mexican block. she has to work hard, day and night to get some money for her family and the fact that she lives in the US for some time, but does no know English at all is also a stereotype. Another stereotype can be observed when John Clasky expresses his feelings openly to Flor, when he gives her a lift, she thinks that he behaves more like a woman, but actually American men tend to be more open and let their feelings go outside.
The film abounds in cultural things «Dean of Admissions», SAT, «National Merit Scholarship», admissional essay at the begging of the film when the matter concerns Princeton University which Christina wants to enter. President Hoover and vacuum cleaner «Hoover» are mentioned when John Clasky talks to his daughter and tries to comfort her. Mother Theresa, Great depression, White America, double gulp are connected to American culture and history and were mentioned in the film.
Despite the fact that the film is full of different cultural things and stereotypes, the main point is at the very end. When Christina behaves just like an American person and tells her mother that she needs some space, these words upset her mother, who wants her daughter to be Spanish. Christina has to choose: to be like her mother or to adopt American culture, but she is bilingual and because of this she is able to communicate within two cultures. She values and respects both cultures, but prefers to stay with her family and she is proud of that choice.