You either forgive James L. Brooks his failings or you don’t. There’s no in-between. Accusations of schmaltz and Hollywood-endings are valid, shameless audience manipulation – fair. His characters do tend to go on journeys, have “arcs”, meet cute. There is never much to frighten the horses in his movies. If an f-word sneaks in, it isn’t the focus of anything (not a Mamet f-word). Bad language is like anger in Brooks’ movies, a little dark cloud before a month of sun. There would be no reason to review a movie like Spanglish, but for the fact that, besides the schmaltz, Brooks writes character like a Billy Wilder who believed in human beings.