Spanish sleeper;

Apr 242002
Authors: Eric Patton

This is a story about sex. Screenwriter and director Alfonso Cuaron (“Hart’s War”) has developed a new Spanish comedy with gross-out elements to rival “American Pie.” In fact, take “American Pie,” eliminate the parties and very structured and predictable jokes, and you now have “Y Tu Mama Tambien.”

The story begins when two girlfriends ditch their boyfriends Julio, played by Gael Garcia Bernal from the Spanish film “Amores Perros,” and his wealthy friend Tenoch, played by newcomer Diego Luna. They haven’t broken up; the girls just decide to go on a trip to Europe.

The two boys, fresh off of graduation, are very sexually frustrated. Despite some very arbitrary scenes building to the line of action, it’s full of comic situations and dialogue. They eventually attend a wedding in Tenoch’s family, where they both are star-struck by Tenoch’s cousin-in-law, Luisa. This Spanish beauty, played by Maribel Verdu from the Academy Award winning “Belle Epoque,” is suffering from her own frustrations, so in order to add excitement to her life she agrees to go on a road trip with Tenoch and Julio to a fictional beach.

On this trip to a beach that Julio and Tenoch supposedly conjured up, they are met with sad sexual misfortunes. They both grow somewhat infatuated with Luisa, and to forget her own troubles, she courts the young men. Most of the comedy is then spawned from the dialogue and odd relationships that result from this trip. And as they all participate in this “game called love,” they discover playing with each other’s hearts is something more dangerous than expected.

The acting is fantastic. The writing is even better than the acting. It was a sleeper comedy with incredible appeal. You will be taken on a realistic ride through Mexico and through the minds of these interesting and unique characters. Luisa is one of those ladies that remind me of an old Seinfeld character who is attractive in certain light but unattractive in bad light. You never know who she’ll be. Tenoch and Julio are an even mash of every teen character you’ve seen in “Varsity Blues,” “American Pie” and “Road Trip.” The only difference is that these characters are well acted, which makes them more interesting and much more developed.

There is plenty of nudity in this film. There’s full frontals of both sexes, as well as simulated sex and crude language, so it is therefore rated R. There are of course some elements that tarnish the grade I can give it, but all in all, it is a very enjoyable and easy film to sit through. This film gets a B rating, but if you don’t like foreign films and subtitles, your own opinion may differ greatly. n

Foreign Film Suggestions: “All About My Mother,” “Belle Epoque,” “Like Water for Chocolate,” “Das Boot,” “Amores Perros” (if you can handle animal cruelty), “Open Your Eyes,” “Life is Beautiful,” “Jamon Jamon,” “Antonia’s Line,” “Kolya,” “Mediterraneo.”

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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