Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Original Release: 2001
My Overall Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Two teenage Mexican boys take an older (by ten years or so) Spanish woman, Luisa, on a road trip to the beach. By initial appearances, it is a coming of age story for the guys (Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna) as they brag about their sexual exploits to each other and to her (Maribel Verdú) as part of their clumsy effort to seduce her. Luisa, however, is working through her own struggles, including a failed marriage.
Now that our progeny is off to college, my wife and I have a new system for picking movies: brackets. Here's how it works. One of us (taking turns, of course) picks eight films and sets them in a tournament-style bracket. The other chooses a winner from each pairing, creating a second round. The first person picks winners from those match-ups to create a final. The second chooses the winner and that's the one we watch. Here's our Y Tu Mama bracket (set by my wife) as an example:
This way, we both get a say in which movie we watch on a given evening - reasonably fair and good, wholesome fun. We must credit The Playwright and English Prof with the idea.
Y Tu Mama is a beautifully shot film. Writing and acting are both strong. We get glimpses of the political and economic realities of Mexico in the early 21st century, though for the most part, the travelers are shielded from it. The narrative cleverness is revealed in hindsight. The final twist suggests that Luisa was the true protagonist all along rather than the boys.
Generally, the movie gets rave reviews for being "sexy" but whether or not it actually merits the description is debatable. There's plenty of nudity, both male and female, and loads of sexual content but none of it is exactly sensuous. It doesn't help that the boys are complete idiots. So, maybe sexy but not erotic?