Y tu mamá también  (2001) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna

The story begins with two young Mexican couples engaged in furious intercourse. It turns out that the two boys are best friends. One of them comes from a rich family, the other middle class, and they are giving their girlfriends a farewell present (and/or getting one from them) before the two girls fly off for an extended summer vacation abroad.

The boys are left to figure out how they will get through the long summer without girlfriends, especially after all their alternate sexual plans fall through dramatically. By chance, they encounter a long-forgotten cousin who, while a complete ass, has a charming Spanish wife. The boys, drunk and bored, end up hitting on the wife, even inviting her to drive with them to a distant beach. She declines, of course, but chance again intervenes when she finds out about her husband's infidelity, and decides to run away with the boys. Shocked and surprised by her change of heart, and lacking an actual beach to go to (the one they used in their pick-up line was fabricated ex tempore), they contrive a hastily-prepared road trip.

As they drive from Mexico City to the ocean, the trio talk about sex and love and jealousy as they pass through the remnants of an ancient and impoverished Mexico. It is interesting to note, and touching, that they don't seem to notice their surroundings. Peasants stop their car to collect money for a local beauty queen. An impoverished auto mechanic gives the rich boy his hat. A local motel has a swimming pool filled with filthy water and leaves. At no time do they seem to take note of the disparity between their lives of modern privilege and the backwards rural world around them. They take their class status for granted.

The wife behaves in a way they never really dreamed possible. The first night in a small town, she unsubtly seduces one of the boys. This would probably be a dream come true if it were a story about one young man and a kind older woman. But there are two young men, so the seduction creates feelings of betrayal and jealousy in the boy left out. In his anger, he confesses to having had sex with the other boy's girlfriend. The boys' friendship seems to be disintegrating, so the wife thinks she must restore the balance by seducing the other boy. This causes the first one to get angry and confess that he also slept with his friend's girlfriend. (This after his outrage at his friend's confession the previous night.)

The wife sees the way they are behaving and asks - "what the hell is wrong with you guys? You got me here hoping to screw me, right? You're both getting exactly what you thought you wanted, so what is the problem?"



  • all possible body parts from Maribel Verdu

  • all body parts from Ana Lopez Mercado

  • pubes from Maria Aura


  • all possible body parts from Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna

What, indeed? What deeper secrets have caused them to lash out at each other? Can their friendship endure the revelations of the past and future? Why is this mature, sexy woman getting so heavily involved in their sexual education? Surely she must have some great desperation she is concealing, something far deeper than a realization of her husband's lone infidelity.

All of these questions provide you with the reasons to watch the film. I think you'll find it to be one of the best, most honest coming of age films ever made, and I'd recommend it to just about anyone who doesn't mind seeing naked bodies entwined explicitly in various combinations.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • widescreen anamorphic 1.85:1. Spanish with (optional) English subtitles

  • three (unimportant) deleted scenes

  • Commentary by cast and crew

  • Theatrical trailer(s)

  • Short film "Me la Debes"

  • Making-of featurette

Spoilers follow:

Don't expect this to be like American Pie. Imagine an American Pie with a deep underlying look at social stratification and the forced modernization of an old culture. Then imagine seeing all the sex acts on the last night of American Pie in detail, between actual naked people. Then imagine a topper-offer in which Oz buggers Jim in the closing credits, and the band camp chick dies of cancer, and you might have the idea. Is the film coarse? Not at all. It is tender and honest, but it is brutally frank in many ways that a Hollywood movie could never be.

In Spanish with English subtiles 

Tuna's thoughts

Y tu mamá también is one of the best films I have screened this year, and one of the best, and most honest coming of age/buddy/road trip movies I have ever seen. There are two reasons for this. First, the basic story is told with incredible insight and candor. Second, the film highlights the class distinction between the wealthy principals in the story, and the people living in poverty that they blissfully pas by during the road trip.

As the film opens, we see a young couple screwing energetically underneath a poster of "Harold and Maude". I don't know about you, but I have trouble imagining a more promising first scene in a film. Turns out it is Diego Luna saying goodbye to his girlfriend Ana López Mercado, who is touring Italy for the summer with her girlfriend María Aura. Which brings us to the second scene, where Gael García Bernal, is similarly saying goodbye to to Aura for the summer. Bernal and Luna play best friends. After the girls leave, they despair of getting laid for the summer until, at a huge wedding, they meet Maribel Verdú, who is married to one of their cousins. She is several years older than them, but that fact doesn't stop them from hitting on her and offering to take her on a road trip to a mythical beach called Heaven's Mouth. Several days later, she discovers that her husband has been unfaithful, and takes them up on it.

They get hurried directions from a friend to a distant beach, and pick Verdú up. Fortified with munchies and lots of drugs, the three are off on their adventure. Things get much more tense when sex rears its ugly head. First, Verdu sleeps with one of them. Unbeknownst to her, he picks that moment to tell his friend that he has slept with his girlfriend. Verdu assumes that she has caused the obvious rift in the friendship, and seduces the other to patch things up. After that, there are more admissions, a very bold threeway near the end, and then a conclusion that I did not see coming.

The sex is treated explicitly and honestly, the characters and their motivations are believable, the photography is excellent, and the social commentary about the class differences in Mexico comes through loud and clear, even though it is not done in a heavy-handed manner.

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: three and a half stars. Ebert 4/4, Berardinelli 2.5/4, filmcritic.com 4/5. James Berardinelli was pretty much the only critic in the world to score the film this low.

  • UK consensus: three and a half stars Daily Mail 7/10, Daily Telegraph 8/10, The Guardian 9/10, The Observer 8/10, The Times 9/10, Evening Standard 8/10, The Sun 6/10, BBC 4/5

  • The film was nominated for the Golden Globe as the best foreign-language film. It won various prizes at international film festivals

The People Vote ...

  • with their dollars: made for a modest $5 million dollars, it grossed $13 million in the USA despite never appearing on as many as 300 screens. It set all box office records in Mexico.


IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, Scoop says it is a C+ or B. "I would normally say C+, because mainstream viewers would not normally watch a film in Spanish with explicit male and female nudity, sex acts, masturbation, and homoeroticism. But it could be higher because this is a very, very good movie and it might just be good enough to draw in people who would normally be horrified by this level of explicitness, or who normally hate subtitled films. Anyway, who cares about the score? It's damned good". Tuna says, "Normally, the level of exposure and simulated sex, the fact that it is subtitled, and the fact that, superficially, this is a film for teenagers would cause me to score this a C+, but it is a total treat to anyone who will watch it with an open mind, and is therefore at least a B."

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