Y Tu Mama Tambien (2002) – movie review

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Movie Review by Alice Castle

Starring: Maribel Verdú, Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, Diana Bracho, Emilio Echevarría

Director: Alfonso Cuarón

Julio (Gael Garcia Bernal) and Tenoch (Diego Luna) are the best of friends – two happy go lucky teenage boys living in Mexico City, cheerfully competitive with one another in all things important – who can swim the fastest, masturbate the fastest and who can pull the most attractive older woman. Their target is Luisa, a Spanish woman and girlfriend of one of Tenoch’s cousins who they meet at a family wedding reception. When she tells them she’s looking for the perfect secluded beach to sunbathe on, they invite her on a road-trip to a fictional paradise – Boca del Cielo (Heaven’s Mouth). It means persuading Julio’s political activist sister to let them borrow the shared car – but the boys cannot let this opportunity go.

The threesome set off for the coast and like all good road-movies embark on a period of transformation. While the Mexico they drive through is a frightening place – along the way we see people held at gun-point, memorials to the dead and drug runners – the boys are oblivious, caught up in their cheery adolescent world. We also learn that the boys come from different social classes. Tenoch is the son of a politician and slightly corrupt businessman, while Julio lives in social housing with his mother, who is a secretary and sister. But teenage boys are yet to care who are the have and have-nots in Mexican society.

As they get nearer the coast they think they’re getting nearer to bedding the beautiful Luisa but she has her own agenda.

The film has a delightful mood displaying both the warmth and machismo of teenage male friendship and deserved its awards at Venice for best screenplay (Alfonso Cuarón) and for both Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna, childhood friends, who took the best newcomer awards.

5 out of 6 stars