Saturday, May 26, 2007

Y tu mama translation needed

Y tu mama tambien - Alfonso Cuaron - 2001 - 8/10


Tenoch (Diego Luna) and Julio (Gael Garcia Bernal) are best friends living the rich socialite life in Mexico City while, as Cuaron likes to remind us, many are not. The movie opens with them giving a very pleasant goodbye to their girlfriends who are going to spend the summer in Italy. Bored and with little to do, the boys are saved when at a fancy wedding at Tenoch's house they meet Luisa (Maribel Verdu), the wife of one of Tenoch's cousins. Almost obsessive about her beauty they try to impress her with stories of an unbelievable beach, the Heaven's Mouth. As each of their lives begin to move in different directions Luisa calls Tenoch and tells him she wants to go with them, to the beach. The call sets off a weird chain reaction that sends the three of them on a long ride, not just to the beach, but in search of their inner souls.


I think this movie is almost flawless. Perfectly cast, great story, amazingly sharp dialogue. The biggest problem is actually Cuaron. Don't get me wrong, I think the guy is a great director. But his intention to salt his movie with a political message in the form of off-topic voiceovers that are supposed to show the gritty reality of Mexico City largely annoy me. It's one thing to try to work in some politics into your movies, but the way he does it is upseting. Unfoortunately, Cuaron also uses these voiceovers to "help" the viewer into the minds of the characters. Sometimes this works, but other times, when it is used to tell character's backgrounds and wrap things up nicely in lieu of chracter interaction/dialogue on screen, it falls flat. This becomes particularly annoying in the ending when a somewhat predictable, yet dramatic ending is spoiled by the voice of Cuaron's narrator once again.


Despite the one blemish mentioned above, this near perfect movie is a must-see.

If you liked this movie, watch...
...Motorcycle Diaries
...Sex and Lucia
...Amores Perros

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