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"Y Tu Mamá También"

Directed by Alfonso Cuarón.
Written by Alfonso Cuarón.
Starring Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna and Maribel Verdú.
Release Year:  2001

Review Date:  4/8/02 


"Y Tu Mama Tambien" (And Your Mother, Too) is the best film I've seen this year.  It's so good that you ought to consider leaving work right now to go and see it, if you haven't already.  In fact, since I left the theater, all I could think of to tell you good people is what might dissuade you from seeing this spectacular film.  So, I'll give it a try.

A.  You don't like sex

Because I am an American, I am forced time and again to sit through ridiculously bad sex scenes in American-made films.  Either they are not hot enough, or they feature couplings between unattractive people, or there is pseudo-porn keyboard being played over the action.  There are a couple of pretty steamy scenes in "Y Tu Mama Tambien"...maybe I'll just leave it at that.  But, maybe you don't like sex, or for that matter, sex scenes that will make you wave that little hand fan to relieve the tension?  If so, skip this movie.  Also, there is so much good, dirty sex conversation in this film that the filmmakers opted for an NR rating (not rated) to get it into theaters, because this surely would have been an NC-17 here in the US otherwise.

B.  You don't like great characters

Hey, maybe you prefer movies that don't have lead characters that have any chemistry, or characters that are friends and they make you like them almost from the get-go.  If so, this film is CLEARLY not for you.  You will find that, because the two lead characters in this film, Julio (Gael Garcia Bernal) and Tenoch (Diego Luna), are best buddies and they are funny from the start, you might like these two guys too much and that would be bad if you don't like great characters.

C.  You don't like movies that make you think

Sure, the setup for this film is quite simple--the two leads take a just-separated woman named Luisa (Maribel Verdu, ridiculously shapely)--on a trip to the beach in modern-day Mexico--but, the symbolism and the mixed messages that subtly come out while the threesome is on the road are fantastic; in fact, much like the thriller "Run Lola Run" with Franka Potente a few years back, I loved the way that "Y Tu Mama Tambien" randomly inserts backstory on the characters we get to meet throughout the course of the film with voiceover.  It makes a great movie even better by showing us that it isn't just about this one little road trip.

D.  You want to see this film with a first date

"Y Tu Mama Tambien" is moving, hilarious, and has a raw sexuality in both its dialogue and its physical actions.  But, if you are considering taking someone you just met on a date to see this film, that would be the worst mistake of your life, even worse than taking someone to see "Monster's Ball" on a first date.  Why?  If you see this movie, you will know what I mean when I say that you shouldn't laugh TOO hard in the scene just before the car's radiator blows.  Or, when the guys detail how they go about seducing a woman.  Or any of the 25 times that the boys use some variation of the word that rhymes with "bunt."  I'll leave it at that.

After seeing this movie, I was 85% sure that I was going to move to Mexico (where the film is based) next week.  Then I realized I have to go to work as somebody's office bitch instead.

Rating:  Opening Weekend


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
© 1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09