Directed by Alfonso Cuarón starring Diego Luna, Gael García Bernal and Maribel Verdú.
The road movie, that age-old staple of American cinema for everything from thriller to romance. But what happens south of the border when people get behind the wheel? That's the starting point for Alfonso Cuarón's 'Y Tu Mamá También', a witty and touching look at life and the class struggle in his native Mexico. With their girlfriends away in Europe and a never-ending summer before them, teen slackers Tenoch (Luna) and Julio (Bernal) have to figure out something to do in between watching videos and getting stoned.
Inspiration arrives in the form of Luisa, the attractive Spanish wife of Tenoch's cousin, whom both boys see as the ultimate conquest. Concocting a story of a fantastic beach 'Boca del Cielo' (Heaven's Mouth') down the coast, they try and convince an unimpressed Luisa that she should join them on a road trip. But when she makes a heartbreaking discovery, Julia decides to take the not-so-dynamic duo up on their offer, a decision that will change all their lives.
Perhaps the most-satisfying aspect of 'Y Tu Mamá También' is how it provides an insight into culture and nation within the genre confines of road movie and love – or in this case lust – triangle. As Tenoch, Julio and Luisa search in a station wagon for the mythical beach, Cuarón presents us with insights into the socio-political makeup of Mexico, through the presence of a voice-over which halts the action and tells us about the world outside their car. In many cases, the travellers pass by incidents like police searches and arrests, blissfully unaware of what is going on a round them – a ploy by Cuarón which only serves to draw the viewer into the action even more.
Through the friendship between Tenoch and Julio, Cuarón makes some prescient points about the class divide in Mexico. Tenoch is the son of a shady politician while Julio has been brought up by his single parent mother in a high rise apartment. Cuarón tells us things about their relationship that neither has told the other (such as the fact that Tenoch always lifts the toilet seat in Julio's home with his foot, for fear he'll catch something). And pulling them together and driving them apart is the free spirit of Lúisa, a woman with a tragic secret but who nevertheless humours and pushes the boys into becoming better people.
The scenes the three characters share are often explicit, but there is never any sense of the sensational in Cuarón's approach. The actors turn in great performances, with Bérnal building on his star turn in 'Amores Perros' as the wonderfully manic Julio. This is one movie you really should see before you pack a bag or get behind the wheel this summer.