Inolvidable is a jukebox musical coming-of-age drama about two young queer women finding their identity in the midst of family dysfunctionality, past relationships, and an evolving community through Juan Gabriel’s iconic music. This story begins with Jeni, a rambunctious aspiring singer and her life in bright El Paso with her Tia Celia, a warm but firm seamstress. The film introduces the lives of the two protagonists through the opening number,“Buenos Dias Senor Sol '' performed by Jeni while she parades through the city on her way to the market.We get an insight on both of their livelihoods; Maria Jose who lives in the tight grip of her catholic family, and Jeni who lives unsuppressed with her Tia Celia.
When Jeni’s estranged mother Diana comes back to reconcile for lost time, Jeni works with her behind Tia Celia’s back in hopes of moving in with her mother. Jeni invites Diana to her Saturday night performance at el Noa Bar, where she spends most of her time performing and singing with other queer folks. When Diana forgets, Jeni in her disappointment stays past her curfew at the bar where her life will forever change. That same evening, Maria Jose begs Andres, her reserved boyfriend of 5 years, to take her dancing at a vibrant club on the other side of town for her birthday. Maria Jose drags him into the Noa bar, where Jeni and Maria Jose two finally meet and form an intimate bond that is new to them both. Andres storms off after Maria Jose loses herself finally in the magic of the night. Maria Jose and Jeni spend the entire night singing, dancing, bonding until the sun rises. Maria Jose agrees to see Jeni again, and help her compete in the El Paso singing competition. Soon after, Maria Jose faces an internal crisis, and out of fear of her devout catholic parents, she refrains from going back to the Bar as promised. Jeni later finds her at her place of work and confronts her about their night of romance. They soon begin a friendship that though resembles a relationship, remains unlabeled and casual.
Soon after, Diana enters her life and comes in with open arms with the news that she has purchased the home. Jeni agrees to move in despite her Aunts pleas. Diana learns about her love interest, unaware that it is about a girl. At the same time, Andres suspects Maria Jose is seeing someone and begins to try to figure her out by speaking to her parents and following her. This sparks concern in her parents as he intended, and their nagging keeps Maria Jose on her toes, and worried about what would happen if they found out she was with someone like Jeni. Jeni begins to feel self conscious of Maria Jose’s distance. Maria Jose tries to make up for her insecurities by lies and soothing her in order to keep her in her life even if she isn’t sure that she can. Diana then kicks out Jeni when she realizes that she is queer. Jeni runs to Maria Jose’s home for the night, where she is received in whispers and fear-- Maria begs her to leave her front door.
The next day Jeni is set to perform and she feels alone as ever after losing all the important people in her life. She inevitably loses focus and does not win the competition. Maria Jose visits her after her loss, and after lashing out at her parents on her way out, finds the courage to tell Jeni she is willing to be with her. However, her profession of love is quickly put out when Andres sees them together that night. Andres scares Maria Jose into leaving Jeni. Maria Jose believes she is being brought to her senses, that maybe perhaps it was just a “one time thing”--however it is evident that it is something she’ll think about and question for the rest of her life. Jeni tries to get her things back from Diana who tries to apologize and explain herself, still willing to justify her homophobia. Disappointed and fed up from heartbreak, Jeni dismisses her. She finds out Diana had been ignoring and blocking Celia from reaching Jeni. At the end, Jeni runs back to Celia and tells her all about the time they had spent apart. Maria Jose and Jeni do not cross paths again. It is to be mentioned that the scenes are carried through by Juan Gabriel's music, where his presence serves as a guide for both of the young women. This story is to explore the difficulty of being queer in a culture that is heavily homophobic.
Ruth Veronica MadridWriter
Project Title (Original Language):Inolvidable