Justin Peterson’s review published on Letterboxd:
Criterion Collection Spine #723
(Foreign language film)
Two teenage boys embark on a journey of friendship and sexuality on their way to a secluded beach in rural Mexico, accompanied by a broken older woman.
"You're not allowed to contradict me, much less push me."
This has to be one of the horniest films I have ever seen. Y Tu Mamá También is a raw but honest coming of age story, poetically Directed by Alfonso Cuarón. Overall I enjoyed following along with this story of these free-spirited and angsty guys, which was enhanced by Cuarón's use style and historical inflections.
(Quick Hits) ... Spoilers:
- You know exactly what kind of movie this is from the start as we see one of the main characters run-up to a room to have some quickie last-minute sex with his girlfriend before she travels to Italy. They even joke about promising to not sleep with anyone else while she is away ... a commitment he likely has no intention of holding true to
- I don't think I will ever forget that image of two friends masturbating together while laying on a pool's twin diving boards
- Per usual like in most of Cuarón films, the cinematography from Emmanuel Lubezki is beautifully vivid and features unique angles and long takes. The scenes of the boys diving in the pool and racing underwater were among my favorites, along with some of the wide-open Mexican landscapes we see from their car
- One of the most unique stylistic touches were these voice-overs which you could tell were coming since the sound would suddenly drop out, like you had just gone underwater. This narration came from a 3rd party perspective and typically provided interesting insights not directly related to the plot
- Besides just hanging out, the friends named Tenoch and Julio go to several parties, including a wedding where they meet a married woman named Luisa. On a whim, they invite her to go on a road trip to the beach. And she later agrees to go after finding out that her husband cheated on her
- Eventually, Luisa begins to fool around with each of them along the way, which reveals how immature these guys really are. Being more experienced sexually, Luisa tells them what to do to ease their nervousness, but ultimately each of their sexual encounters with her ends fairly abruptly
- In between these encounters, the guy's relationship begins to unravel as they proceed to taunt each other by claiming that they had slept with each other's girlfriends. Eventually, Luisa gets fed up with their squabbling and declares that they must follow her rules or she will take off without them
"Who cares who you two fucked when you come that fast!"
- Occasionally they will pass by a bit of police activity on the side of the road, and I was thinking that must of had something to do with the changing political climate Mexico was undergoing during that period. Which is similar to what Cuarón did on Roma, but on a much smaller scale
- Them eventually finding the beach was a bit silly, since they admit that they are lost and pull off on some random road, and get stuck in the sand. And then magically in the morning, they just happen to be at the beach they were looking for
- It is lovely to see Luisa strutting her stuff on the beach, and we also get to see plenty of the guys getting naked along the way as well
- A fisherman and his family pick them up from the beach to go on a joyride, and we get some interesting insights into how the fisherman's way of life will soon change since new businesses will be setting up in that area
- I saw this film was listed as a comedy which I disagree with for the most part except for the very amusing scene where they return to their campsite on the beach, and find it being ravaged by escaped pigs
- That evening Luisa, Tenoch, and Julio are having a good time eating drinking at a restaurant. They go back to a motel room and Luisa starts getting frisky with both of them which leads to a 3 some. But the part that lost me was when Tenoch and Julio began to make out, which based on their relationship up to this point felt like it came completely out of left field
- In the final scene we jump forward in time to a meetup between the two guys. And it is crazy to hear them mention that Luisa ended up dying from cancer, which likely explains why she was trying to live life to the fullest with these guys. And it is also surprising to hear that this meet up during the final scene, would be the last time that Tenoch and Julio would see each other
So other than a few odd turns that the story takes, I thought Y Tu Mamá También was a very thoughtful look at the adolescent awakening of two friends amidst the changing world around them.
"Life is like the surf, so give yourself away like the sea."
Thanks for reading.
Happy movie watching ... Cheers!