Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Y Tu Mama Tambien [Mexico, 2001]

Nine Things About the Movie Y Tu Mama Tambien [aka And Your Mother Too]

1. This is a rare “coming of age” film that dares to explore the topic of young adulthood in a deeper way than most such films do. Honestly, when this movie was released in 2001, I don’t think America was ready to handle it. It’s too truthful.

2. It stars Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna as Julio and Tenoch, two horny teenage boys who are best friends. The movie opens with two sex scenes - each of the boys is giving a special goodbye to their girlfriends before the girls take a trip to Italy.

3. Once the girls are gone, the boys are bored, so they convince Luisa, the hot wife of Tenoch’s cousin, to go with them on a road trip to a beach - even though they made the beach up in their head. Their plan is to sleep with Luisa during the trip.

4.The boys’ plan begins to work, and of course both boys start falling in love with Luisa. This opens a much deeper well of sexual angst and tension than they are ready to deal with. Emotions become raw and secrets come out.

5.  Every now and then a narrator jumps in to give some background information, or to tell the audience things that the characters don’t know. It’s a weird touch.

6. There is some political subtext to the film, which I admit I didn’t really understand.

7. Bernal and Luna positively shine as the friends who love each other more deeply than even they know. The movie would have been an awkward flop without their emotional commitment to the roles.

8. The movie won a number of international awards. Unfortunately, the films explicit sexual content prevented it from getting a wide release in America. Which is stupid. Yeah, there is a lot of sex, and a lot of nudity (male and female) but it’s not pornographic or gratuitous. It is an integral part of the characters’ development. Anyway, once again, very few Americans saw this film.

9. Even today, there are people who will not be comfortable with this movie because of the open sexuality of the characters, and the way the movie sensitively exposes secret (but common) characteristics of close male friendships. And that's too bad. This is a touching and honest portrayal of young adults figuring out that their emotions are a lot larger and less logical than they expected.