I’ve taken the official synopsis of the movie, and changed the movie character names with their Jane Austen counterparts. I’ve also added in some details to better explain the movie without giving too much away.
First the Character List
From Prada to Nada, a modern twist on Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. It’s a whimsical fish-out-of-water story of two spoiled sisters: Elinor, a law student, and Marianne, an undergrad party girl, living with their father in a luxurious mansion in Beverly Hills. Marianne has become so “90210” she refuses to admit she is of Mexican descent.
When their Dad suddenly passes away, their posh lives are turned upside down. They discover they have an older half brother named John and have been left penniless. John and Fanny flip houses and they agree to purchase the house and flip it. They move in and allow the girls to stay. Fanny’s brother Edward comes to visit and he and Elinor seem to have a connection. Fanny makes it nearly impossible for the girls to stay so they are forced to move into their estranged aunt Aurelia’s modest but lively home in the Latino-centric Boyle Heights neighborhood of East LA.
They are terrified to leave their world of privilege; neither Elinor nor Marianne speak Spanish or have ever had to take on actual responsibility. Elinor starts her hunt for a job while Marianne goes back to school. The girls gradually adapt to their new environment; their BMW and Prius are traded for the public bus and a used car. While there they meet new and interesting people like Bruno the neighbor across the street. He helps around the neighborhood and he takes a liking to Marianne, who wants nothing to do with him.
Edward arrives not long after to bring some of their belongings and in his own way helps Elinor find a job at the same law firm where he currently works. Elinor meets a group of Mexican maids who need her help and Elinor is ready to help but she needs Edwards help since he’s the lawyer.
While Elinor does this Marianne goes back to school. She’s immediately taken with a Teaching Assistant, Willoughby. She lies to him about where she lives and starts an affair with him believing that their relationship will go somewhere. She tells him about her father’s house and how great it is and how she would love to move back there. Willoughby then leaves to go back to Mexico and she doesn’t hear from him.
John and Fanny throw a party when they are done with their renovations on the house and invite Elinor and Marianne. Once they get there both girls are in for a surprise. Edward has finally caved to Fanny and agreed to meet her friend Lucy is now in a relationship with her. Elinor is heartbroken but not as heartbroken as Marianne when she finds that Willoughby is at the party with his wife and he has just purchased the house for them when they move to the area.
And blah blah blah you know how the story is going to end but it’s worth watching anyway.