Claudia Leisinger

Y Tu Mama Tambien

Country: Mexico
Dir: Alfonso Cuaron
Running Time: 105 min
Out: April 12

Y Tu Mama Tambien – And Your Mother Too, as in the ultimate sexual put-down – is a ‘road movie’ that actually takes you somewhere new, a teen sex comedy that genuinely turns you on (as opposed to the recent US strain that merely tries to gross you out) and the biggest box-office hit ever in its native Mexico. Latino culture has been all the rage for a few years now, which for most people means a Ricky Martin CD. If so, stick with your American pie; Y Tu Mama Tambien is a cinematic hipflask of tequila.

Screen teens are rarely as rough, ragged, dirty and horny as the average adolescent boy actually is, but director Alfonso Cuaron, better known for his elegantly composed A Little Princess and Great Expectations, captures teenage kicks in all their glorious vitality and stupidity. Cuaron’s script, written with his brother Carlos, follows walking hormones and best pals Tenoch (Diego Luna) and Julio (Gael Garcia Bernal from last year’s smash Amores Perros) as they embark on a quest to find the fictional beach paradise of ‘Heaven’s Mouth’. In tow is Luisa, the twenty-something Spanish wife of Tenoch’s cousin, who, after a personal crisis, has called the boys’ bluff and taken them up on their offer of a ‘ride’.

As with most road movies, each character undergoes a search for identity (boys to men, a married woman to independence) but a detached, omniscient narrator’s commentary widens the context, frequently discussing national situations and events that the characters themselves are often unaware of, and revealing a country that itself is struggling towards maturity. This may sound overly academic, but it’s achieved with a casualness that echoes the spontaneity of the road trip itself. Shot in sequence, often in extended takes, the incredible performances from the three leads steer the film smoothly over any potential potholes present in the story and make the unexpected coda all the more moving. Subtle and outrageous, politically trenchant and raunchily erotic, it’s the real vida loca and film of the year so far by a mile.

'© Raindance 2002. No material may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.'