Based on the true childhood experiences of Noah Baumbach and his brother, The Squid and the Whale tells the touching story of two young boys dealing with their parents' divorce in Brooklyn in the 1980s.
With only the plan of moving in together after high school, two unusually devious friends seek direction in life. As a mere gag, they respond to a man's newspaper ad for a date, only to find it will greatly complicate their lives.
In Mexico City, late teen friends Tenoch Iturbide and Julio Zapata are feeling restless as their respective girlfriends are traveling together through Europe before they all begin the next phase of their lives at college. At a lavish family wedding, Tenoch and Julio meet Luisa Cortés, the twenty-something wife of Tenoch's cousin Jano, the two who have just moved to Mexico from Spain. Tenoch and Julio try to impress the beautiful Luisa by telling her that they will be taking a trip to the most beautiful secluded beach in Mexico called la Boca del Cielo (translated to Heaven's Mouth), the trip and the beach which in reality don't exist. When Luisa learns of Jano's latest marital indiscretion straight from the horse's mouth, she takes Tenoch and Julio's offer to go along on this road trip, meaning that Tenoch and Julio have to pull together quickly a road trip to a non-existent beach. They decide to head toward one suggested by their friend Saba, who seems a little confused himself of ... Written by
La vida tiene sus maneras de enseñarnos. La vida tiene sus maneras de confundirnos. La vida tiene sus maneras de cambiarnos. La vida tiene sus maneras de asombrarnos. La vida tiene sus maneras de herirnos. La vida tiene sus maneras de curarnos. La vida tiene sus maneras de inspirarnos.
In many ways Alfonso Cuaron's "Y Tu Mama Tambien" reminds me of the desolation theme of Bernardo Bertolucci's "Ultimo tango a Parigi" (1972) and the deceptive perspective of Michelangelo Antonioni's "L'Avventura." (1960).
Raging post-adolescent hormonal drives seem to propel Julio and Tenoch forward, with little else of substance to account for. Likewise, Luisa's motivation seems more despair- than romance-driven. Thus, the trio's trek in search of the idyllic Boca del Cielo is reminiscent of the forlorn lovers' quest for emotional fulfillment in the Bertolucci film.
Comparison with the Antonioni opus stems from Cuaron's script seemingly being about a carefree, liberated trio on a journey for fun, when in fact, it's really about escape from their own worst "enemies"--themselves.
After a particularly talky beginning (complete with abundant narrations) the film settles in on its main theme, and the dialogue becomes more pointed. While the camera work is generally appropriate, Cuaron tends to rely on long- to medium-shots, with nary a close-up.
The result of this is a somewhat distant enactment, in which the viewer is held a bit at arm's length from the action. One seldom gets close enough to become intimately acquainted with these people. In the end, one is touched by important revelations which are crucial to understanding that which has transpired. Yet, the viewer's emotional involvement is perhaps less than what it might have been, given closer perspectives.
This film obviously impressed many people, and I must agree the work by the principles is uniformly solid. This is a "last tango" which has made its mark as a distinctive film work.
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