Y Tu Mama Tambien

Movie review by
Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
Y Tu Mama Tambien Movie Poster Image
Bittersweet road-trip movie with graphic sex, language.
  • R
  • 2001
  • 106 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Truth comes in parts, so something always gets left out. Life can be blown out of our hands as easily as sea foam, so give yourself up to it and go where the current takes you.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Tenoch and Julio live privileged lives, spending most of their time bored and looking for new ways to gratify their bodies with sex and numb their minds with alcohol and drugs. They think of themselves as the closest, most loyal of friends, but they're not emotionally mature enough yet to work through their problems. Luisa discovers she's stronger than she thought. She bravely decides to go on an adventure with Tenoch and Julio, who are basically strangers to her. She opens up to life's possibilities, and tries to help the young men do the same.

Violence

Brief view of the body of a car crash victim under a sheet in a large pool of blood. The narrator tells of a past car crash and mentions blood.

Sex

Many graphic sex scenes with older teens, and some between teens and an adult. Both men and women are fully naked and seen from the front and back, although erect penises are never shown. Thrusting and orgasm are extensively simulated. More briefly simulated are oral sex, sex with three people, and sex between two male teens. Safe sex, condom use, or consequences are never shown or talked about, although condoms are mentioned a couple of times. Two teens masturbate nearby while talking about what excites them. Their hand motions can be seen from a distance but not their genitals, and ejaculate is shown landing in the pool from underwater. An adult and teens have lots of frank talks about sex, including things like specific techniques, how a penis is curved, and loudly drinking a toast to the clitoris. Some nonsexual nudity, like showing nude males swimming underwater with genitals clearly visible, and topless sunbathing.

Language

In translation from Spanish, "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," "suck my pr--k," "ass," "t--ties," "fag," "faggot," "ball breaker," "whore," "d--k," and "whack off."

Consumerism

Lots of brand-name products briefly visible in a supermarket. Ruffles potato chips prominent in one brief scene. Coca-Cola mentioned a couple of times.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Older teens frequently drink beer, rum, and tequila. The consequences of throwing up and regretting your actions are shown once. Frequent talk about drugs, mostly marijuana but also ecstasy a couple of times, and several scenes show teens rolling joints and smoking marijuana. Part of the teens' credo is to get high at least once a day. Bong use shown once. Teens frequently smoke cigarettes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Y Tu Mamá También ("And Your Mother Too") is in Spanish with English subtitles. There aren't any opening credits, so it starts right off the bat in the middle of a graphic sex scene and takes off from there. Bare breasts and buttocks are visible and there's simulated thrusting and orgasm. Sex and nudity, both male and female, are frequent throughout the movie, sometimes between an adult and a teen, briefly between three people, and once it's implied that two male teens had sex. There's also a lot of frank talk about sex, like specific positions or techniques and the curve of a penis. Precautions and consequences aren't talked about, but condoms are mentioned a couple of times. Profanity is also frequent, including (in translation) "f--k," "s--t," "d--k," "t--ties," and "faggot." Teens frequently drink, smoke, get stoned, and once talk about taking ecstasy. It's not for kids, but it's a touching, if raunchy, story of friendship and opening yourself up to life's possibilities.

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What's the story?

Y TU MAMÁ TAMBIÉN tells the story of the friendship between Tenoch (Diego Luna) and Julio (Gael García Bernal) as they come to the end of high school and start to think about their futures. With their girlfriends off in Europe for the summer, Tenoch and Julio don't have much to do, so they spend most of their time pursuing pleasure wherever they can get it. When they meet Luisa (Maribel Verdú), a beautiful and slightly older woman, they invite her to join them on a road trip to the beach. To their surprise, she accepts the invitation, so the three set out of Mexico City with a car full of camping gear and a vague set of directions. Freedom and the open road bring out surprising truths, half-truths, betrayals, and discoveries that none could anticipate. 

Is it any good?

It's a remarkable achievement to take two mostly unlikeable, raunchy teens and craft a bittersweet, moving, coming-of-age movie that has you rooting for the boys almost before you know it. Acclaimed director Alfonso Cuarón does just that with Y Tu Mamá También, thanks largely to the amazing performances he gets from his two young costars, so vibrant and full of life that they'll stay with you long after the closing credits.

The fantastic script places Luisa directly between the two, and thanks to Maribel Verdu's strong performance she challenges them, and the audience, to think about life, what it has to offer, what we have to bring to our own and others' lives, truth, sex, friendship, loyalty, growing up, and more. Absolutely not for kids because of the graphic sex, profanity, and drug use, but a great way to start thoughts and conversations about life for those ready for the strong content.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the sex in Y Tu Mamá También. Is it gratuitous? Does it tell you anything about the story or the characters? How much is too much in movies?

  • What about the drinking, drugs, and smoking? Are any consequences shown? What are some of the real risks in underage drinking and smoking pot?

  • How much profanity is OK in movies? Why? Does the profanity seem realistic to you?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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