Y Tu Mama Tambien

2001, Movie, NR, 105 mins

Review

Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN | AND YOUR MOTHER TOO
starstarstarstar
A raunchy Mexican teen comedy with surprising depth and the nerve to confront subtexts that normally get short shrift in pictures aimed primarily at young men. Though 17-year-old Tenoch (Diego Luna) and Julio (Gael Garcia Bernal) come from very different backgrounds, they're best friends. Tenoch is the son of a wealthy politician and lives in his parents' luxurious house, where his old nanny caters to his every whim. The son of a single mother, Julio lives in a cramped apartment in a shabby housing complex. Fresh out of high school, the teenagers are facing a long summer without their girlfriends, Ana and Cecilia (Ana Lopez Mercado Ortega, Maria Aura Boullosa), who are vacationing together in Europe. Though the boys extract fervent promises of fidelity, they plan to make hay while the summer sun shines. But things start out slowly: Tenoch and Julio go to parties with their pothead friend Saba (Andres Almeida Garcia Morales); hang out at Tenoch's father's country club, jerking off into the pool; and fantasize about Luisa (Maribel Verdu), the sleek, Spanish wife of Tenoch's pretentious older cousin, Jano (Juan Carlos Remolina Suarez). The boys encounter Luisa at a family wedding and clumsily suggest a beach trip a trois, claiming they know a distant strip of sand so perfect it's called Boca del Cielo — Heaven's Mouth — and to their surprise, some days later Luisa accepts their invitation. They don't know, of course, that she's just learned Jano is cheating on her, or that she's been to the doctor for the results of some tests. All they know is that they're hitting the road with a sexy older woman; they're so bowled over by their luck, you suspect they haven't even thought their way through to what's going to happen next. Callow though Tenoch and Julio are, they quickly recognize that their fevered fantasies are bound up with complicated reality, starting from the moment they try to spy on Luisa undressing and instead catch her sobbing uncontrollably. Competition for Luisa's sexual favors provokes an intense rivalry between the friends, sparks revelations with far-reaching emotional consequences, and eventually leads to an encounter that simultaneously fulfills the boys' wildest dreams and dredges up their most strenuously repressed anxieties. For what could easily have been a slickly vulgar variation on AMERICAN PIE or PORKY'S, this libidinous comedy explores some unusually complicated territory, and benefits greatly from Verdu's unpredictable performance as Luisa. (In Spanish, with English subtitles.) leave a comment --Maitland McDonagh

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