Directed by Alfonso Cuarón (director of "Roma" and "Gravity") and co-written by him and his brother Carlos, "Y Tu Mamá También" is the flick that we're honoring today during Hispanic Heritage Month. This Mexican road trip film found great success upon its initial release in 2001. It won an Independent Spirit Award for Best Foreign Film. It was also nominated for an Oscar, a BAFTA, and a Golden Globe. Even the soundtrack for this film was nominated for a Grammy.
The journey starts with two best friends Julio (Gael García Bernal) and Tenoch (Diego Luna) whose girlfriends are leaving on a trip to Italy. They promise to be faithful to their significant others. But once the girls leave, it's not looking like that promise will be kept.
As the guys begin their bachelor period away from the girls, they're invited Tenoch's cousin's wedding. Once there, they meet Tenoch's cousin's wife-to-be Luisa (Maribel Verdú). The young boys only have one thing on their mind. So, they start flirting with Luisa. In an attempt to impress Luisa, they lie to her about a fake beach that they're planning a trip to. They claim that it's the most beautiful, secluded beach ever. In the moment, they name it Boca del Cielo (Heaven's Mouth). They invite her to go, but she passes on the offer.
Later, Luisa receives a late call from her new husband. He drunkenly tells her that he's cheated on her. The next day, Luisa reaches out to Tenoch to see if the beach offer still stands. Eager to see Luisa again, Julio and Tenoch turn their fake plans into real ones. They ask their friend to help them find a secluded beach to visit. Though they're not entirely sure where they're going, the boys go pick up Luisa...and an eventful road trip begins.
Hispanic Heritage Month Connections
"Y Tu Mamá También" uses a documentary-realist style within the road trip film to allow audiences to experience Mexico's geography, culture, and politics through a less polished lens. The various beach scenes you see throughout the film were actually shot near the resort Bahías de Huatulco in Oaxaca.
At the time of its release in 2001, the non-English-speaking film set a new record for the highest box office opening in Mexican cinema, earning $2.2 million its first weekend.
Why You Should See It
If you're looking for a dramatic/fun road trip through Mexico with a few surprises along the way, then this absolutely a must-see. Also, it features respected actors Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna in a pivortal early film in their careers, as young adolescent boys partying the days and nights away.
Critics and audiences both agree that this is indeed a great film, with "Y Tu Mamá También" earning a critics score of 92% and an audience score of 88% on Rotten Tomatoes. Upon the film's release, there were issues regarding how explicitly sex and the use of drugs were depicted which caused complications when rating the film...but might be just another reason to see exactly why...
Did You Know
The film is included in the film reference book "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die," edited by Steven Jay Schneider. And in a critics' poll that was conducted by the BBC in 2018, "Y Tu Mamá También" was ranked number 76 for best non-English-speaking films. Also, originally Alfonso Cuarón didn't want to cast actor Diego Luna as Tenoch because he was already a teen idol and soap opera star. Luckily, co-star Gael García Bernal convinced Cuarón to pick Luna because of their strong friendship in real life.
Jesse is a writer and content manager for Noovie. When he's not working, he's on the beach playing volleyball.