Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Y tu mamá también
Y tu mamá también (literally "And your mother, too", but released in English-speaking markets under the original Spanish title) is a 2001 Mexican / American motion picture directed by Alfonso Cuarón that tells a coming-of-age story about the road trip of two teenage boys with a woman in her twenties against the backdrop of the politicial and economical realities of present-day Mexico, specifically the end of the uninterrupted 70-year line of revolutionary Mexican presidents from the PRI and the rise of the opposition headed by Vicente Fox. It has been universally acclaimed as one of the most erotic films in many decades and is filled with depth and unspoken meaning.
- Maribel Verdú : Luisa Cortés
- Gael Garcia Bernal : Julio Zapata
- Diego Luna : Tenoch Iturbide
- Diana Bracho : Silivia Allende de Iturbide
- Andrés Almeida : Diego 'Saba' Madero
- Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay (Carlos Cuarón & Alfonso Cuarón)
- BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenply (Carlos Cuarón & Alfonso Cuarón)
- BAFTA Award for Best Film not in the English Language
- Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film
- Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media
After their girlfriends have departed to Europe, Julio (Gael García Bernal) and Tenoch (Diego Luna) are free to make their own holiday plans. Julio comes from a lower-middle-class setting, while Tenoch's father is a high-ranking political dignitary. At a wedding they encounter Luisa (Maribel Verdú), the wife of one of Tenoch's relatives who stirs their sexual curiosity. They invent some mythical secluded beach and tell her they want to go there, hoping she will come along, but she declines.
A few days later, she has changed her mind and agrees with the plan, which is problematic for the boys because they do not know how to find a place like the one they described to her. They enlist the help of their drug-supplying friend Saba (Andrés Almeida ), who gives them rather hazy instructions, as well as figure out how they are going to get a car.
During the trip, sexual banter between Julio and Tenoch takes place, in which it gradually becomes clear that they have been sleeping with each other's girlfriends. At first, this revelation is met with disgust and anger, which later gives way to some degree of excitement at the thought. They also battle for the sexual favors of Luisa, who sleeps first with one, then with the other one, but later teases them that they should really be having sex with each other.
Eventually, with the help of a local fisherman the trio discovers a place that even bears the right name. One evening, after lengthy talk about sex and masturbation, the three end up in bed together, where the two boys are at first focused upon the woman but soon start kissing each other passionately.
The next morning, Julio and Tenoch hurriedly decide to leave, while Luisa prefers to stay with the fisherman's family. The denouement of the movie takes place one year later, during which Tenoch and Julio have not seen each other. The two friends bump into each other on the street and agree to go and have a cup of coffee together. They talk of their friends from long ago (other stories are taking place off-camera and are merely mentioned in passing by them), as well as update each other on where their lives are. It is revealed that Luisa was terminally ill with cancer, explaining her sudden change of mood when she got the bad news from her doctor. After their brief and uncomfortable reunion at the restaurant, Tenoch and Julio never see each other again.
While the (mostly sexual) interplay takes place between the three characters, an omniscient narrator points out the past and future of the seemingly innocent roadside and people, contributing to the movie's underlying mood of foreboding and ambivalence — that is, the constant underscoring of the duality between rich and poor, city and country, the European and the indigenous, gay and straight, and the living and the dead.
Responses to the film
Y tu mamá también was a critical success, garnering awards such as the Venice Film Festival best screenplay award. It was also a runner-up for the National Society of Film Critics Awards for Best Picture and Best Director and was nominated for the 2002 Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay.
This film is also a good example of the widely varying standards in movie rating systems: While the uncut version received an NC-17 rating in the US, other countries, such as France or the Netherlands regarded the film fit to be seen by twelve-year-olds. This perceived excessiveness of censoring of sexuality (especially when compared to the much more accepting attitude towards violence) by the MPAA even prompted noted movie critic Roger Ebert to ask the question in his movie review why there was so little outrage against it by industry professionals: "Why do serious film people not rise up in rage and tear down the rating system that infantilizes their work?"
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