Speaking of pornography. The racy Mexican import, Y Tu MamÃ¡ TambiÃ©n (And Your Mother Too), gets as close to it as you can without a “XXX” shining in neon lights outside the theater. Although it escaped the Motion Picture Association of America ratings board and is being released unrated, we wouldn’t be talking about MamÃ¡ right now if it weren’t worth seeing.
One of the funniest, yet poignant, films to come along in some time is mainly getting noticed for its unabashed display of full-frontal nudity of males and females. However, the sex in MamÃ¡ is not sexy, and the flesh that is bared is done without the luxury of glamour lighting. While no penetration is shown, the sex – as well as the film itself – is as real as it gets.
Even when you see the actors riding in a car from the windshield’s point of view, you can still see the rear-view mirror.
MamÃ¡ takes one-part AmÃ©lie, one-part The Graduate and throws a splash of American Pie into the mix to arrive at its sensual story of two teenagers, an older woman and endless amounts of hormones stuck in a car.
Narrated a la AmÃ©lie by Spanish actor Daniel GimÃ©nez Cacho, MamÃ¡ takes detours along its road trip concept to tell its audience about a character’s back story that has nothing to do with the plot. Or, as an FYI to the audience, the narrator will tell you halfway through the film what will happen to a character 10 years down the road.
These bits of seemingly meaningless knowledge are just that, sometimes. And the frequent manner in which it is done – all sounds cease for a moment before the narrator begins his speech, while the action is still going on – will certainly throw off some viewers.
But it is the extremes to which MamÃ¡ plays that gives it its charm. If it’s not the excessive masturbation references – or visuals – that will offend audiences, it will be the homo-eroticism between the two main characters that lies underneath each scene.
Give young Mexican actors Gael GarcÃa Bernal (Julio) and Diego Luna (Tenoch) credit. They tackle their conflicted, hormone-consumed characters without fear or pretension at times when the temptation to stereotype is ever present. Rather, Julio and Tenoch come across as real as any teenagers you’d encounter in their most private moments.
However, the real dramatics come from the veteran 31-year-old Spanish actress Maribel VerdÃº (Luisa). As the older, married woman who throws caution to the wind and joins two horny kids on a road trip, VerdÃº brings tenderness to a role that requires moments of adventurous excursions as well as deep pain.
Y Tu MamÃ¡ TambiÃ©n is fiction. It’s mostly humorous with sprinkles of drama. It is designed to entertain. But most of all, it is real.
Its reality, as well as its extremity, allows for one of the most genuine movie-going experiences this year.
Y Tu MamÃ¡ TambiÃ©n is not rated
In Spanish, with English subtitles
Only playing at Channelside Cinemas