Customer Review

30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The End of Innocence, 22 Mar. 2003
This review is from: Y Tu Mama Tambien (And Your Mother Too) [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
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.
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