TIRED of formulaic Hollywood teen movies about popularity and sex? Why not watch something fresh, funny, and sexy but with a heart?

First screened in September 2001 at the 39th New York Film Festival, Y Tu Mama Tambien (And Your Mother Too), along with other Latin American and Spanish films, is brought to the Philippines by Instituto Cervantes.

Set in Mexico, the film starts with a messy sex scene involving 17-year old Tenoch (Diego Luna) and Julio (Gael Garcia Bernal) with their respective girlfriends—giving the audience a glimpse of the decadent lifestyle of the two young men. Luisa (Maribel Verdu), a stunning 28-year old Spaniard, enters the scene breaking the monotony of the two men’s routinary whoring and drinking binges, after they turn her into one of their conquests. Trying to impress her, they invite her for a road trip to a fictitious beach called Boca del Cielo (Heaven’s Mouth).

The two, however, get more than what they’ve bargained for when Luisa becomes the catalyst of their self-discoveries. As the road leading to the elusive beach becomes more desolate, the protagonists realize that a confrontation with the reality they left behind is inevitable.

The script takes sudden sharp shuttlings between sexy-comedy scenes and dramatic sequences. The cinematography is erratic. Matched with dim lighting, the overall impression is that the characters are constantly in heat.

A voice-over intrudes every now and then tells stories about random people that the trio met while making socio-political commentary. These stories, about a bus accident, a dying girl, and a fisherman forced out of work, help create a mood of despair and sorrow.

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Entertaining and enlightening, Y Tu Mama Tambien is a frank and honest discussion on issues of youth and sex. Jhervy C. Nuez

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