Y Tu Mama Tambien (2001) Dir. Alfonso Cuaron
Starring: Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna and Maribel Verdu
Guest review by Blair Stewart
The second salvo across the board for New Mexican Cinema after “Amores Perros” success, “And Your Mother Too...” follows the post-high school exploits of two over-heated twits who con an honest-to-God Woman into taking a road trip with them with the intention of getting into her pants and the surprises that occur when she turns the table on them in sex and politics. Lower class Julio (Gael Garcia Bernal) and bourgeoisie Tenoch (Diego Luna), abandoned by their girlfriends for Europe and looking for drugs and p*ssy over a long summer before their university years begin stumble upon 28 year old married Luisa (Maribel Verdu) and convince her they know the location of a ethereal beach known as ‘Heaven’s Mouth’ that only they can take her to. Little do the two buddies suspect the personal crisis that she’s facing and that a trip to the ocean will change the course of their lives.
From a wryly funny and knowing script by his brother Carlos Cauron, director Alfonso Cuaron places you in modern day Mexico City with a sharp honest eye aided by the widescreen framing from long-time cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki that allows the characters space to roam, breathe and exist. What raises this story above that of a standard ‘voyage of discovery’ yarn is the awesome choice of an omnipresent narrator to tell brief stories of its main/peripheral characters and landscape and their sociological implications. It is as if Mexico itself is telling you the truth of its past and present. As the mismatched Julio and Tenoch, Bernal and Luna are excellent as little boys running headlong into adulthood and consequence while Maribel Verdu’s Luisa is the lynchpin with her intelligence, understanding and sexy jukebox shimming.
After watching this film I was struck by the disparity in present English language cinema and what is occurring south of the border through Mexico and down into Brazil and Argentina. Why do we have in our cinema a fear of sexuality and mature displays of it? Why would “Y Tu Mama Tambien” risk a NC-17 rating for showing what comes naturally to us whereas torture flicks of the ilk of the “Saw” trilogy and “Hostel” are shrugged about with their respective carnage? Is this not a worrying trend? After seeing what our neighbors can produce with cameras and talent, what does the English population of the world devote their daydreams to and are we really seeing it in our theaters? This is film without guilt; it is a blast of fresh air, it is a modern classic. Disfruta!