Country: Mexico
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Stars: Maribel Verdu, Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna, Diana Bracho, Andres Almeida

Y Tu Mamá También is only a raunchy road trip comedy on the surface. Carefully embedded within Alfonso Cuarón’s crafty sex-com is a sociopolitical critique of post-NAFTA Mexican society. Cuarón intently acknowledges globalization’s influence on Mexico simply by adopting genres popular to Americans (the road trip, the coming-of-ager). Meanwhile, the randy triangle that ultimately forms the film’s ménage-a-trois—two teen boys and an older woman—are representative of Mexico’s social make-up.

Gael García Bernal plays Julio, a boy from a working-class family whose name and face reveal an indigenous background. Diego Luna plays Tenoch, the upwardly mobile son of a politician. There’s class tension between the two best friends that goes by unacknowledged until they embark on a road trip across Mexico with Luisa (Maribel Verdú), a vacationing Spaniard. As the boys bicker while trying to impress Luisa, she takes charge like the neocolonial presence she is meant to represent, soothing the boys with sex and bringing them together to fulfill her own needs.

All the while, Mexico is there in the background, a country rife with poverty and borders, barely noticed by the film’s characters as they pass through. —Rad S.

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