25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 6 October 2004
The glory of our teenage years. Glamorous, perfect, enlightening. Thankfully this kind of misguided adult dross is absent from Cuaron's work. As a teenager myself, I could completely relate to the ideas expressed in this film.
Teenage sexoholics Julio and Tenoch desperately attempt to seduce older woman Luisa with a promise of a road trip to a mythical beach called Heaven's Mouth. On the way, the three compadres discover hatred, jealousy, love and alienation. And they have lots and lots of sex.
This is an incredibly sexy film in every way. Cuaron lingers over the young and beautiful stars without being perverse, allowing us to appreciate the positive and negative aspects of particularly Julio and Tenoch. Mexico is similarly revealed to us during their road trip, warts and all, violence and crime as much a part of their trip as the breathtaking scenery. The characters they meet shape their journey, and soon the audience is involved, willingly or not, in the events of the holiday.
This film is funny, smart, sensual and exotic. But above all, it is beautiful, and though the characters may seem repellent from the outset, by the time I reached the achingly poignant final meeting of Tenoch and Julio I had fallen in love, in different ways, with all three characters.
This film also provides a wonderful insight into Gael Garcia Bernal's rising talent.
I thoroughy recommend Y Tu Mama Tambien. Just don't watch it with your parents!
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on 21 November 2002
Scandalously under supported by the British multiplex fraternity this delicious Mexican coming of age movie has been released on Dvd for you lucky peopel. Recent trends in cinema have bucked the notion of spectacle and bombast replacing it with rounded characterisations and plot driven indie movies. Arguably the New France, Mexico has become all the rage showcasing maverick directors and interesting films! Guillermo del Torro (Chronos, Others, Blade 2), Alejandro González Iñárritu (Amores Perros) and this movies Director Alfonso Cuaron (Great Expectations and soon to be Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkabhan)
Two teenagers, Julio (Gael Garcia Bernal from Amores Perros) and Tenoch, (Diego Luna) who spend time doing parties, grass, masturbating and experimentation to fulfil the voids in their lives. Privileged Tenoch is son to a politician and Julio son of a secretary, their friendship (charolastras) and subsequent code (as brilliant as it is simple) has been solid since birth. With little to do in a crowded city, the pair hoodwink an older relative's attractive wife- Luisa - (Maribel Verdu) to accompany them on a journey to 'Heaven's Mouth', a beach they have just made up in a hope to get lucky. To their surprise she accepts and not for the most obvious reasons and so it begins - one of the best movies of recent years. Eclipsing even the mighty 'Amores Perros' at the Mexican Box Office.
The characterisations are spot-on in this intelligent road movie and from the off set you are either gonna like it or hate it. Luna and Bernal clearly have a wail of a time, as they are best friends in real life, as such the chemistry is clear to observe. The pacing is fast, the conversations faster and the opening scene features an arse bobbing up and down in youthful coitus. In less assured hands (Cuaron also writes) this could easily have descended in to an uneasy sex farce with nothing new or original to say as it is this a heart warming, deeply moving tale of friendship, puberty, sex, trust and mothers.
In terms of cinematography again Cuaron excels; crisp flurried movement, detailing city/landscapes with vistas and confident use of contrast. The irreverent plot lines and genius narrative offset against these visuals are delightful and juxtapose the realism with fairytale diversions offering, at times, a biting social commentary.
The trio of would be 'life evacuees' revel in a script of an unparalleled sense of fun, mischief and sincerity - the insults, trade off's and counter arguments are exchanged in scatter shot perfection. Luna and Bernal are outstanding and Verdu smoulders suitably, the epitome of femme fatale who may, just may tear the boys apart and break their code forever.
Cuaron masks a dark tale behind light moments of human observation and pointed humour. The existential angst and the pseudo link for travel and growing up is set within an exuberant balance of emotion (watch out for the not so hidden subtext). The end message is particularly poignant and endures even the most hardened filmgoers to examine his or her childhood experiences...
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Having loved "Azkaban" and "Children of Men" I decided to seek out more of Alfonso Cuaron's work. So first up was "Y Tu Mama Tambien" and I have to say, what a brilliant film. It sort of plays out like a continental "Bill and Ted" with the beautiful scenery of "Motorcycle Diaries" and the observation humour of "Amelie". That said, it is also a very sobering film that acts as rights of passage for the two young leads (excellent performances from both, including "Science of Sleep's Gael García Bernal) whilst shining a light on the ordinary people and endemic poverty of Mexico.
One word of warning though, this is a very rude film and certainly not for the prudish. Whatever, you need to see this film immediately, it is absolutely superb and the characters will stay with you for a very long time.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Yes, you get a puerile adolescent sex movie worthy of the Porky's and American Pie tradition, though somewhat better made even if the sex itself would not satisfy the connoisseur (the lovely actress deserved far better!) Then you get a reasonably good road movie with beautiful Mexican locations, including the mythical beach in search of which the journey began.
But beneath this mask there is a fine character study through the development of relationships and conflicts, with a well-judged final twist that avoids the Hollywood habit of shaking the saccharin bottle too vigorously. Watch Y Tu Mama Tambien for this alone, even if you ignore the remainder.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Julio and Tenoch are two fairly likeable, conventionally chaotic Mexican teenagers who, almost by accident, find themselves driving the unhappily married older woman Luisa to the mythical beach Boca del Cielo (`Heaven`s Mouth`).
I`ve seen this film several times, and it never palls. Once things get underway, it
becomes a road movie, but a beautifully directed and acted one. The now famous Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna play the two likely lads who both end up having sex with the more experienced Luisa (with limited success, at least from her point of view) and both are excellent. The actors` rapport (they`re best mates) and their naturalistic performances make their actions far more believable than they might otherwise have been in the hands of a director of less integrity and flair than Alfonso Cuaron.
Luisa is played to perfection by Maribel Verdu (who`s a little like a cross between Jane Birkin and Linda Fiorentino). Luisa is hiding a sad secret, which becomes clearer very late in the film, and is revelling in the chance to go `on the road` with these two young boys - which is pretty much what they are to her. She is a mixture of sophisticated and innocent, but the boys come to respect her, and a kind of catharsis is achieved, for the characters as well as the viewer.
The film is also genuinely erotic, the scenes of sex and nudity refreshingly lacking in coyness or voyeurism, and possessing an explicit but wholly credible realism one rarely finds in mainstream cinema. In other words, there is a humour and joy in the sexual scenes which, within the context of this free-wheeling tale, comes across as organic and far from prurient. Luisa may not be particularly satisfied (well, not at first) but we are - in a manner of speaking! It`s rare to see a film in which men and women`s sex lives are treated with equal respect. The boys` fumblings are never patronised, and we not led to feel that Luisa - or the actress - is being exploited.
Along the way, we also see glimpses of Mexican life, mostly, like the travelling trio, from the car window. Many films which have a narrator get bogged down by the device, but the low-key narration throughout this film works perfectly, giving it a dry, droll counterpoint to the rather madcap story unfolding before us.
The later scenes of this glorious movie have a sunset glow about them, which is appropriate considering the relatively sobering aspect of the `journey`s end` of these characters.
A coda back in the city a while later is more sobering still, and never fails to move me.
The Extras that come with the DVD are generous and welcome: a less than serious short by Cuaron, as well as interviews and deleted scenes, and an amusing, heartwarming 22-minute `Making of` featurette, in which we can see how much genuine fun they all had during the making of this deceptively modest film.
I think this is one of the best foreign films so far this century.
Do see it.
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 22 March 2003
Often described as one part buddy-film, one part road-film, and one part coming-of-age film, Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN offers the story of two teenage wannabe studs who coax a slightly older and somewhat more sophistocated woman into a road trip to the beach--never dreaming that the woman might have a personal agenda of her own. The premise is hardly an original one, but in the hands of director Alfonso Cuarón and a truly remarkable cast the result is absolutely astonishing.
As a number of people have pointed out, Tenoch (Diego Luna) and Julio (Gael Garcia Bernal) are not entirely likeable characters: they are thoughtless, self-indulgent, crass, and rarely think above their belts or beyond the next joint. But their encounter with Ana (Maribel Verdú) will shake them out of their adolescent-inspired sense of superiority in more ways than one: as their friendly rivalry for Ana's favors escalates into open jealousy, their revelations demonstrate that they are no less hypocritical than the pompous and corrupt adult society against which they so pointedly rebel.
The film is unexpectedly satirical, neatly adopting a "boys will be boys" smile and then quietly but sharply undercutting it by transient images of poverty, decay, and death that the trio encounter as they move out of their rather sheltered existences in Mexico City and travel the backroads to the sea--images that the boys ignore with a youthful zeal but which foreshadow and then underscore the series of punches the film delivers at its conclusion. The cast is impressive, with Luna and Bernal the very image of thoughtless, vulgar youth, while Verdu is remarkable as Ana, a woman in her late twenties who seems to be fleeing from a faithless husband and seeking revenge in casual sex but who secretly has a still more weighty motive behind her actions.
The film has a great deal of nudity and sexual activity; there is also considerable drug use and profanity. A great deal has been made of that, and particularly of the intense kiss between Luna and Bernal--but ulitmately Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN is less about sex, drugs, and youthful excess than it is about responsibility in relationships and how failure to keep trust can have devastating consequences in platonic, romantic, and sexual relationships. The DVD package is quite nice, with several interesting bonuses, and although the subtitles are in white they are easy to read. Overall, an impressive film--but one perhaps best viewed by middle-agers with some perspective than by the youth it satirizes. Recommended.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 10 February 2006
This is a beautiful, sad and meaningful film - ultimately about love in many ways and the burden of both being unable to share feelings and information with others - and also the consequences of doing so - opening emotionally and literally. It also makes a point overall of reminding us that there's an element of fate or randomness that can affect things despite our ideas and behaviour.
I didn't find there to be that much sex in this film - sexual content perhaps, but not overtly offensive, degrading or even unusual. The relationship between the two young men is indeed central rather than a threesome arena, and many relationship scenarios are examined alongside personal and cultural issues (the families, the road side traders and the fishermen etc). The inability of the two male leads to perform well despite their bragging makes sex not entirely the main focus, or at least not fullfilling sex - unfulflling lives being experiences shared by every character that appears in turn.
Happiness is much talked of, but who is shown to have it? - each character displays through action, lack of honest explanation or through the magnificent narration there own tragedies that they bare. The narration also brings to light the political situation and ecconomic issues in almost a poetic tone. It is all carefully intertwined so as can be easily missed. It is a meaningful and solemn peice far removed from a mindless sexual farce. this thoughtfull film really needs detailed inspection and I give it 4 stars, not 5 simply because it isn't personally my prefered favourite genre.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 13 June 2007
This film cleverly and effortlessly interweaves a gorgeous 'coming of age' story and all the joys and pains of late adolescence, with a series of very serious social/political statements about Mexico and the wider world. In fact, a range of sombre life issues are tackled, yet despite the bleak subjects it addresses, this film exudes the spirit, energy and passion of youth/early adulthood throughout.
As for the sex scenes - well, the film starts with one (just as the excellent Betty Blue does), but I did not find any of them explicit/offensive. And as sexual discovery/sexual responsibility form a major part of the story, it would have been impossible to make this film without them. All the sex scenes are very inoffensive and to be honest, given the subject matter, the amount of sex/nudity involved is actually quite modest.
And let's not get away from the film itself, which is excellent on all levels. The three lead performances are exceptional throughout and far superior to anything you will see coming out of Hollywood.
One thing - I had to watch it twice to fully appreciate both the film itself and the very important messages it was trying to convey.
Enjoyable on many levels and I would highly recommend it.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 8 June 2010
This isn't the type of movie i would normally watch but, surprisingly, i found it to be very entertaining. Y Tu Mama Tambien is a coming-of-age road trip flick with an elegiac undertone that has been skillfully disguised with eroticism and wry humour. The vastly talented Mexican actor, Gael Garcia Bernal, bounces off his co-star, Diego Luna, superbly; the banter and chemistry between the two characters was an accurate portrayal of adolescent friendship, so much so, that it reignited memories of my own misspent youth and induced feelings of nostalgia. Maribel Verdu is cast as the older women who's been recently scorned by her lover and decides to escape her misery by excepting an offer from the two horny boys for a trip to a beach called "Heaven's Mouth" - which doesn't actually exist. She tantilises the herb smoking, beer swilling boys in the sun-drenched journey to nowhere and relishes being the object of their desire whilst masking her traumatic grief.
The story unfolds with the aid of some quirky narrative, simular in style to Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Amelie. There are moments when some viewers might think: "that wouldn't happen in reality", but i would advise you to push those thoughts to one side and hold judgement until the final climax; all shall make perfect sense by the time the credits roll. There are plenty of passionate sex scenes between the characters and some of them score very highly in arousing the viewer, so i would highly recommend this flick for a first date movie. Top marks can also be given for the feel good factor injected by a story that highlights the importance of enjoying life to the fullest and not allowing the shadows of the mind to suppress the free spirit. Give this exhilarating adventure a try, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the big smile occupying your face when it's concluded.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Two Mexican lads travel, with an older woman, in an old estate car, to a beach that doesn't actually exist. Well, it doesn't sound much. In fact this film is by turns hilarious and moving; no surprise it has gained quite a following. The three main characters (all well played) are likeable and although the spoken language is Spanish (there are English subtitles), it doesn't really matter at all. Much of the attraction of the film is visual; it is beautifully photographed on location in Mexico. There are quite a number of explicit sex scenes, but these are entirely natural and part of the story. They are often amusing too.
The presentation on DVD is outstanding. Picture quality is excellent with rich colours and a sharp image. Stereo sound (I don't have surround) is atmospheric and used well. There is an 11 minute short film by the director of the main item. It is amusing. There is also a version of the film for under 17's. This is very amusing, if a little short. There are music tracks, a making of documentary, and numerous other extras-all enjoyable. Also current copies have a short book detailing the early lives of our heroes.
Good humour, sun, sea and lots of sex. The perfect DVD for dark Autumn nights.