Screened as part of NZIFF 2002

Y tu mamá también 2001

And Your Mother Too

Directed by Alfonso Cuarón

Mexico In Spanish with English subtitles
105 minutes 35mm



Jorge Vergara, Alfonso Cuarón


Carlos Cuarón, Alfonso Cuarón


Emmanuel Lubezki


Alfonso Cuarón, Alex Rodríguez


Maribel Verdú, Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna


Venice, Toronto, New York, London 2001; Rotterdam 2002


"Y tu mamá también takes its title from a taunting Mexican dis: ‘And [I fucked] your mother, too!’ That’s only one of the oedipal riffs that enliven Alfonso Cuarón’s artfully ribald comedy – a mock Excellent Adventure in which a pair of privileged young potheads take to the road in search of a nonexistent beach, accompanied by an unhappy married woman, a decade older and a good deal wiser than they are… 

Cuarón’s heroes, the upper-class Tenoch and his less affluent, more insecure buddy Julio see off their Italy-bound girlfriends at the airport. Left to their own devices, the two horny wise guys are wondering how they’ll spend the rest of the summer when they meet Luisa, Tenoch’s exotic Spanish cousin by marriage, at a society wedding attended by the president of Mexico. For reasons of her own, Luisa unexpectedly accepts the pair’s clumsy invitation to party on the beach. She’s a total fantasy babe, but the mercurial Verdú has an emotional gyroscope that allows her to keep repositioning herself as the film’s resident existentialist – a sharp, sexy screwball deliberately bouncing between two frisky (and wildly competitive) pups… 

Y tu mamá también should be no one’s idea of politically correct entertainment, but however wish-fulfilling she may be, Luisa never fails to tweak the boys’ nascent machismo. Similarly, the movie’s road trip naturally encompasses an ongoing observation of Mexican social relations – the critique underscored by the measure of class uncertainty inherent in Julio’s too eager clownish laugh… The ongoing motormouthed jive and frequent manic outbursts are balanced by the sort of omniscient, contextualizing voice-over frequent in the early nouvelle vague or alternately submerged in the silent underwater shots that punctuate the narrative… 

This reproach to American youth flicks flatters the audience that made it the most popular movie in Mexican history… It has the charm of the original American road movies, feasting on the gorgeous, ramshackle landscape of the filmmaker’s motherland. ‘You’re so lucky to live in Mexico,’ Luisa explains. ‘Look at it – it breathes with life!’ The same might almost be said of the film. Cuarón’s compositions are so busy and his tone so jaunty that it’s possible to miss the degree to which death shadows this comedy. The road is littered with fatal car accidents. Life is a transitory affair. The Cuarón brothers don’t fail to prepare the alert viewer for Mamá’s melancholy coda and the absolute finality of its sign-off." — J. Hoberman, Village Voice