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Y Tu Mama Tambien

November 15, 2009

And your mother, too! This movie simply blew me away. It takes the horny teenage boy plus road trip trope out of Hollywood’s immature hands and turns it into a powerful mediation on life and death, class and politics, interior (personal) and exterior (world at large) realities. Americans can’t handle honest portrayals of sex (let alone much else) in their movies, which comes from an innate sense of prudish restraint and a penchant for substituting sensational gestures for raw emotion. This movie is pure raw emotion (which is not to say it is not intelligent). Some of the best scenes in the film, in my opinion, are the miniature departures from the main narrative – a funeral procession, a wedding, one of the characters’ hometowns – that provide context and new insights. Not the kind of connect-the-dots backstory you would get in an American movie (like, oh, he was abandoned as a child, that explains why he has difficulties forming emotional attachments), but rather the kinds of small details that are all too human. It’s the kind of movie that leaves you lying beaten up on the side of a dusty road breathing air into your lungs with a renewed gratitude at this miracle called life.

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