Saturday, December 14, 2013


Y Tu Mama Tambien: Unrated Edition (2001)
Movie rating: 8/10
DVD rating: 7/10
Release Date: October 22, 2002
Running Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Rating: NR
Distributor: MGM
List Price: $26.98
Disc Details
Special Features:  Widescreen anamorphic format
Chapter selection
Commentary by cast members
Featurette: Making-of "Y Tu Mama Tambien"
Short film by witer Carlos Cuaron: "Me la Debes"
Deleted scenes
Theatrical trailer
TV Spot
Video Format: Anamorphic Widescreen (1.85:1)
Languages: Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Subtitles: English.
Captions: Yes
Casing: 1-Disc Keep Case

"Y Tu Mama Tambien" is yet another example of the realistic and straightforward way foreign filmmakers deal with the topic of sex. "Y Tu Mama Tambien" is a serious coming of age film disguised as a teen sex romp. Below is EI writer Joseph Farrell's in-depth review of "Y Tu Mama Tambien" for its theatrical release.

If you don’t become aroused by the opening scene in Y Tu Mamá También, a Mexican film directed by Alfonso Cuaron, check your pulse, you might be dead. And, ladies and gentlemen, we are not talking the Hollywood kind of erotic scene that takes place covertly under covers with an occasional glimpse of a buttocks or a breast in a darkly-lit bedroom. This is fun, rollicking sex with no covers, bright lights, and followed up by a playful conversation between one of the film’s protagonists, Tenoch (played by Diego Luna) and his girlfriend, who will soon leave for Italy. The film’s erotic fun and humor is contagious and leaves you looking around every corner for the next sexy scene.

Later, we meet Tenoch’s friend, Julio (played by Gael Garcia Bernal), whose girlfriend is also leaving Mexico for Italy over the summer. Tenoch and Julio are17 year-old boys bound by their comparative wealth, adolescent humor, and teen-age preoccupation with sex. The movie begins innocuously with the shenanigans of Julio and Tenoch and their care-free existence centered around sex, drugs, farts jokes, and masturbation. The two actors play their roles with much verve making También a more sophisticated, steamier version of American Pie.

Julio is the middle-class son of a divorcée while Tenoch is the wealthy son of the Mexican Secretary of State and his superficial wife. At a party for the politically well-connected, we meet Luisa, Tenoch’s cousin’s wife, a sultry 28-year old Spaniard played Maribel Verdu. When the drunk boys clumsily invite Luisa on a trip to a fictional beach called Heaven’s Mouth, no one expects Luisa to take the offer or the boys seriously. When Luisa later accepts the invitation, the movie shifts from the Mexico City locale and the countryside as the trio embark on their trip.

The sexual tension created by the presence of this older, beautiful woman juxtaposed against the fact that the young men both care about her and are somewhat intimidated by her sets the stage for this trip. The trip will redefine the characters and their relationships in ways unforeseen by all. Upon leaving Mexico City, the two young men still joke raucously, and Louisa joins in the bawdiness. And yet, as must inevitably happen in all relationships, the bubble of superficiality bursts and the characters must come to grips with a world where sex and sexuality take on a larger, more serious role. Sex can be fun and liberating, but it can also be mature and even threatening.

Garcia Bernal and Luna play their roles superbly, able to carry the bawdy, adolescent energy easily on their shoulders and yet able to play the sensitive scenes that occur during the trip to the beach just as convincingly. While the two actors play their roles seamlessly, Verdu struggles with some of her more vulnerable scenes. However, her sexiness and energy in the humorous and erotic scenes more than make up for this shortcoming.

Aside from the story, the movie is as much about Mexico as it is about the sexual tension of the trip with Louisa. When Tenoch and Julio stroll through a huge shopping mart or when Luisa tries to evaluate her personality based on a multiple-choice Cosmo-type questionnaire in a doctor’s waiting room, it seems as if we are in the U.S.A. However, we later see oblique references to the leftist demonstrations, the spoliation of the countryside through development, the simple Catholicism and kindness of the poor, and the indifference of the rich and powerful. While the eroticism and humor are the engines that drive the train of this film, the train is Mexican, beautiful and complex, even if flawed.

Cuaron puts together a masterpiece with witty dialogue, a tight script, excellent performances by Gael Bernal and Luna, and by presenting a kaleidoscope of Mexican culture. Put this film at the top of your list. You will find a lot more than sophomoric humor and erotic energy in this subtle and thought-provoking film.

The Disc
Great movie. Good picture and better sound. Hit-and-miss extras.

Picture Quality: 7/10
I noticed a few artifacts along the way. The picture also looked a little washed out with fading around the edges during the brighter scenes. No delineation problems with the darker colors. Great flesh tones.

Sound Quality: 9/10
I speak very little Spanish, so it is hard for me to judge the sound. The music sounded fine. I wouldn't have known if the dialogue were incomprehensible because I relied on the subtitles to get through the movie. No distortion in the low ranges. Seemed to be a nice balance between the high and low ranges.

Menu: 10/10
Very cool design. Easy to navigate. No Easter Eggs found although there are plenty of places they could have hidden some.

Extra Features: 6/10
The commentary track is provided by the two male leads and another actor who played their drugging buddy early in the film. I couldn't tell you if it was a good commentary track or not because it is in Spanish. They guys were laughing during the film's opening sex scene. Subtitles would have been nice, but probably cumbersome. Oh well. I took 9 semesters of Spanish at Memphis State. I guess I should have paid more attention!

There are three deleted scenes. One deals with Julio getting a handjob from his girlfriend in the backseat of her parent's car as the parents drive her to the airport. The second scene involves the old man who gives Julio his hat when their car broke down. The old man dances. The third scene involves the three leads driving down the road stoned out of their minds. None of the scenes would have added anything to the final film had they been left it.

The "Making Of' featurette is subtitled! The 22-minute featurette provides some funny insights into the making of the movie. It includes interviews with the cast and crew.

The DVD also includes a short TV spot and a lengthy theatrical trailer.

The coolest extra is the 8-minute short film by writer Carlos Cuaron. "Me La Debes" involves a mother, father and daughter all having sex with someone they shouldn't in the same house at the same time. A funny little film.

The Final Word:
Even with the hit-and-miss extras, "Y Tu Mama Tambien" is worth adding to your permanent DVD library.

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