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!
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...
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.
There is a good reason for this film being an 18, which will be obvious within the first five minutes of action with Tenoch and his girlfriend. Tenoch and Julio (Gael Garcia Bernal), both 17, go on a road trip with Luisa looking for a mythical beach. No one is more surprised than the two crazy teenagers when they actually find it. But Luisa is hiding a tragic secret, even worse than the fact that her husband has been having affairs. The powerful impact of the last 15 minutes of the film is amazing, when Luisa deliberately triggers off something between the boys and leaves them to the fall-out. It's subtitled, but I forget that almost immediately I'm watching this film. It's also one film where although there is swearing and nudity, I never felt it was gratuitous.
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.
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.
I tried to like this film. It's set in Mexico, and perhaps it tries to say something original and important about the Mexican way of life, but I'm not convinced that it managed to. Two randy teenage boys, neither of whom is in the least bit interesting - they don't seem to have any profound thoughts or opinions - have a little road trip with a middle aged woman who has broken up with her husband. The boys have sex with women several times, and come too quickly. The woman gives them some advice about how to be considerate lovers. Throughout the film, the action regularly pauses so that we hear the narrator's voice commenting about what's going to happen in the future or what happened in the past. I suppose it achieves a level of realism, but when that realism consists of jokes about farting and constant recriminations about each sleeping with the other's girl, I think I'd prefer less realism. I can see that some of the professional critics are impressed by it. I think it was a rather sexist film, condescending towards the main female character who is both mother figure and whore, which may be how women are viewed in that part of the world but really we should have moved on.
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.