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Y Tu Mama Tambien

Beavis and Butthead Grow Up

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


Y Tu Mama Tambien

Julio, Tenoch, and Luisa are living it up.

Yes, Mexico also has its share of aimless stoners who eat Ecstasy, make fart jokes, and enjoy masturbating on the dive boards at the country club pool. With their girlfriends gone on an Italian vacation, Tenoch (Diego Luna) and Julio (Gael Garcia Bernal, last seen in "Amores Perros") spend their summer like Beavis and Butthead would.
Their level of discourse, subtitled or not, peaks with "Left-wing chicks are hot, dude." "Y Tu Mama Tambien" is a bit like "Tenoch and Julio's Excellent Adventure" -- if Keanu Reeves had gotten naked and that film had been littered with poetic asides about politics, history, and the human condition.

Enter Luisa (Maribel Verdu), an older, married woman who is ready for an adventure when she finds out her husband has been cheating on her. The boys take Luisa on a road trip to an imaginary beach, and of course the way there is ripe with revelations, confessions, and raunchy sex.

The film is ambitious in its mingling of moods. Luisa describes Mexico as "teeming with life," and this richness seemed to have been program for the film: there's a voice-over narration that adds information at the fringes of the story and extends its reach by sketching the lives of minor characters, including a ravaging band of wild pigs. I am not sure whether the movie's tone can be described as a sadness suffused by hilarity or if it's a comedy in which the tragic takes over, but Cuaron's matching and merging of styles adds welcome depth to a tired genre. Tenoch and Julio's growing up is painfully funny to watch, and Luisa's outgoing lust for life has dark roots.

The sex in "Y Tu Mama Tambien" is best described with the joke that opens "Annie Hall" -- it's not just that it's bad, it also doesn't last long enough. In fact, the film's sex scenes sum up Alfonso Cuaron's take on life quiet nicely: it's freewheeling and spontaneous, a bit outrageous, interrupted by giggles and groans, and it's all too human, flabby butts and all. "Y Tu Mama Tambien" combines the heartbreaking with the lewd, death with desire, and fearlessly points out that the best we have is also generally quite embarassing, but dammit, it's all we have.

  1. About.com
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  3. World / Independent Film
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  5. Spanish Directors
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