“Y Tu Mama Tambien” Is Alfonso Cuaron’s Hidden Gem

Unless you’re Mexican (Editor’s Note: Or just a film buff!) you probably know Alfonso Cuaron as the director for Prisoner of AzkabanChildren of Men, and the most recent Gravity. Those films are good and serve as a testament to Cuaron’s talent, but his 2001 film Y Tu Mama Tambien, which was a success in his native Mexico but only got a limited release in the U.S., is truly his best work. The film has even garnered an ‘infamous’ status amongst us Latinos for being the sexually explicit movie we all watched as young teenagers, but its significance goes even deeper than that.

The story centers around a pair of male best friends named Julio and Tenoch who are the archetypal teenagers (sex-obsessed, selfish, and confidently ignorant) who eventually go on a road trip with an older woman named Luisa in search of a beach named ‘La Boca del Cielo’. They of course only invited Luisa with the hopes of having sex with her, something that later on creates conflict. But the beauty of this film is that its storytelling works on many different levels, since it makes use of an omniscient narrator who chimes in throughout the story to inform us about the political undertones of Mexico at the time, how the difference in social class affects Julio and Tenoch’s relationship, and many other subtleties.

I can not recommend this film enough, the amount of things left unsaid are astounding, so I’ll just invite you to watch the whole thing. It truly is a masterpiece of cinema and a film that makes me proud to say I’m Latino.

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