Maribel Verdù lights up the screen in this casually photographed and gritty-pretty road movie. Comparisons to Sonia Braga will inevitably be made and they won't be wrong. Two teenage boys borrow a car for a road trip and miraculously find themselves bringing along the slightly older woman of every teenaged boy's dream. Verdù is impossibly delicious but somehow approachable: a believable object of desire. The film is hardly an examination of rural poverty as some have claimed. The typical turista's travel photos have more acknowledgement of Mexican poverty. What it is is a representation of the goofy exuberance of mid-adolescence and the ordinary beauty of the country. There is an aura of innocence that hangs over the boys' vulgarity and the woman's sensuality that makes the whole adventure as sweet as it is sexy. Where the film falls down is the ending. The boys and the woman have had a great time, the sex has been exuberant if not exactly skilled. And so, the youngish voice of an off-screen narrator tells us that there is a price to pay. (Mexico is a Catholic country and guilt will out) The kindly fisherman is put out of a job by the big bad developers, the girl has cancer and the boys never speak to each other again. It almost feels as if the director caught us and himself having a good time and had to punish us for it. too bad.
In spite of this, the film is beautiful and sensual and well worth seeing. And did I mention Maribel Verdù ?
Lynn Hoffman, author of The New Short Course in Wine from Prentice Hall and the forthcoming novel bang-BANG from Kunati Press.
Where to begin? Superficially, it's a fantastic sex comedy/road trip movie/coming of age film, some of the most well-worn genres in filmmaking, but chances are the viewer won't even notice that it fits into those genres. The performances of the three leads are uniformly magnificent, and the drama, or even melodrama, never seems forced, and leads to a climax that's shocking, funny, necessary, joyous, and tragic all at once. But that initial description doesn't even get into … more
Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN is yet another example (like AMORES PERROS) of how the films from Mexico have a unique style that is maturing rapidly. The pace of this tour de force of the effects of testosterone on young lads is breathless, so much so that the viewer yearns for the moments of stillness that do come and are all the more poignant for there role as relief. Much praise has been heaped on this film and I think for the most part it is well deserved. There is not the sophistication of the films from … more
Pros: lots of sex, drugs, and liquor. funny Cons: if you're a prude... The Bottom Line: 'It must be the heat.' Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie's plot. Last night, Y Tu Mama Tambien was playing in my university's film series. I'd never seen the cinema so packed. Hundreds of students packed the theatre and dozens more queued outside. No doubt everyone had heard that this film features a lot of … more
This beautifully filmed, expertly acted movie about two 17-year-old, middle-class Mexican boys on summer break is deceivingly complex. The basic plot of the film is that best friends Tenoch (Diego Luna, BEFORE NIGHT FALLS) and Julio (Gael Garcia Bernal, AMORES PERROS), who think of nothing but sex, convince a beautiful 28-year-old woman, Luisa (Maribel Verdu), to go on a road trip with them to a nonexistent beach. They get lost. They flirt and giggle and fawn over Luisa hoping to win her over with their boyish charms. And that's about it. But that simple plotline merely provides structure for the poetry and meaning that is woven into the film with photography and narration. Periodically throughout the film, while the action continues normally, the sound stops. A voice over then gives information--sometimes a brief biography of one of the characters (birth date, name of father and mother, consequences of birth, primary childhood experiences), or a note about what each of the characters is really thinking...