16 May 2002 | gino_theworldjournal
Before you read any further I would like to strongly suggest that you go see this film.
Before you read any further I would like to strongly suggest that you go see this film. Do not read my review and just go see it. Find out where it's playing and buy yourself a ticket, in fact bring as many of your friends as you can, such as I did, and I promise you will all somehow have enjoyed it in a way films are rarely enjoyed. I do not feel that I will be able to describe exactly what I felt having seen this film, but if you would like to see my effort then read on.
This is the story of 2 teenagers, Tenoch and Julio, best friends their whole lives, which have indulged in many of life's guilty pleasures. We meet them at a point when their respective present girlfriends are leaving to study in Italy, leaving the 2 friends on their own for the summer. In the short time after their departure we see a whole new side of the boys. They masturbate to the thought of Salma Hayek, smoke weed, drink hard, and flirt with another man's wife. She is a beautiful older woman named Luisa at a wedding, who in turn is Tenoch's cousin's wife. They flirt with her and invite her to come with them to the fictional beach Heaven's Mouth. She is of course reluctant, but takes them up on the offer after her husband one night calls her to confess he cheated on her. This is the beginning of the road trip to the non-existent beach that will change their lives.
An unidentified man narrates the entire film, and when he speaks all goes silent in the scenes serving as a moving freeze frame if you will. He speaks the future of the lives we are watching these people interact with, and ultimately you begin to worry what will be of there own future. During this road trip to the fictional beach, all 3 main characters meet new and interesting people in new and interesting parts of Mexico. It makes them ponder life as their own past experiences begin to unravel in their intimate and personal conversations. Not before long the compounded sexual tension between them is in a way relieved, but to mixed consequences. All of the subtle characteristics of jealousy, anger, passion, naivety, become completely real.
These characters are so believably acted, that when you see these actors in interviews or in other films you'll almost feel cheated. Relationships like this simply don't seem like they can be cheated; yet through some form of skill and humanity every element comes together just right, never distracting or deterring you from the story.
Featured are some of the best-shot sex scenes ever (as one of my friends pointed out as a matter of fact). `Y tu Mama Tambien' finds a way of making all of it's moments feel intimate and genuine, yet never in bad taste. Alfonso Cuaron makes it difficult for us to believe what we are seeing at times is only movie, which serves this tale all the more. The shaky `Road Film Style' cinematography used here is perfect in capturing this uncommon, and unbalanced relationship. You are kept on your toes at all times, expecting something or someone to break. The dialogue is fresh and funny, the kind you just know cannot be faked, that in fact somewhere somehow the writer or actors uttered those phrases. I am convinced that a great majority of this film was improvised, whatever the case may be.
This film is obviously more than flesh, more than experimenting youth. Take some of your favorite moments from mediocre mainstream movies like `American Pie 1 and 2' and remove all the slapstick value. You will realize that there is much more there than you ever saw before. That is what I think in small part this film strives to achieve. It succeeds. We can sympathize with theses characters every step of the way, because as we first get to know them you realize that they either are like you, someone you know, knew, or maybe someone you always wished you could be. By the time things begin to happen to these characters you yourself begin to feel part of their journey.
This is an experience many of you won't take part in, and that is the sincere shame. Instead a great majority of people have been walking out of `The Scorpion King' unchallenged and un-entertained. `Y Tu Mama Tambien' offers a true form of escape, one that no blockbuster will dare. It's the lives few of us will ever live, for better or worse. What transcends from the screen to your hearts and minds is as eye opening as anything you'll ever see, and as effecting, if not more, as your own personal life experience. Bold words? Go see it and you tell me.
Note: Please feel free to contact me and share your thoughts on this film or on my review of it.