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Sunday
Feb172019

Great Moments in Kissing: "Y Tu Mama También"

We've decided to extend our 'kissing' appreciation series past Valentine's. Not that you were asking but we're having fun and it's a sexy break inbetween Oscar madness. Here's Eric Blume...

In director Alfonso Cuarón's 2001 mini-masterpiece Y Tu Mama Tambien, lifelong friends Julio (Gael García Bernal) and Tenoch (Diego Luna) spend much of the movie talking about girls and sex.  And when they begin a road trip with older, sexy Luisa (Maribel Verdu), most of their focus is on her, her body, and the idea of getting her into bed.  Which makes the climax (yep, I said it) of the film so incredibly surprising:  at the end of their journey, they finally consummate their adventure in one of the cinema's best threesomes... 

When it finally happens, we see Luisa go below frame to unfasten both boys' belts.  We see the moment of rapture on each of their faces:  this is really happening!  And as they look each other in the eyes, they both lean towards each other in a tender, passionate kiss. 

The first time you see Y Tu Mama Tambien, this is the last thing you think is going to happen.  But when it does, it makes complete sense, not only in terms of the psychologies of the characters, but because Cuarón has been showing you surprising dimensions of the characters throughout the entire film.

The kiss that Bernal and Luna share is both sweet and hot, and it comes from some place unstoppable within them.  That the two actors share such a close friendship offscreen lends the moment further complexity.  Their kiss shows the fluidity of sexuality, but at the same time transcends sexuality:  the increasing closeness they've shared throughout the movie has naturally culminated in this moment.  When we find out in the narration afterwards that the boys drifted apart, it isn't homophobic.  We intuitively understand that the level of intimacy they reached was too complicated and intense for them to process.  We understand that we saw them at the most free, most passionate, and most thrilling window of their lives.

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Reader Comments (8)

Well, when I saw this movie for the first time I knew it was headed to a sex encounter between them. And when I discussed the movie with some friends afterwards they also saw it coming.

February 17, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPedro

I would include the movie Contracorriente (Undertow) from Javier Fuentes León (2009) in this Great Kissing in Movies series.

What a wonderful movie.

February 17, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterCésar Gaytán

I must watch this again

February 17, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterjaragon

That scene was hot as it was the first time for me in seeing two guys kissing that kind of turned me on. I had seen guys kiss each other but I was like "ew" but once I grew into my 20s and realized there was more to films than just action, Quentin Tarantino, and blockbusters. This film was one of many gateways to something bigger and real.

February 17, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterthevoid99

I will always wonder about the generation of people who rented this at Blockbuster (there's something to make me feel old) and thought the movie abruptly ended when Luisa went down to unfasten their pants, because Blockbuster cut that scene out in their copies. Those immoral gays, you know?

February 17, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterstarlit

^^ starlit

Yes! So infuriating. Homophobic and ruins the film without it!

February 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRoger

Funnily enough I re-watched this last week. In my early twenties I would have said this was my all time favourite movie, and now in my late 30's I'd still say it's up there, top 10 - time has been kind to this one.
Agree, there's nothing homophobic about this ending, and I don't agree with the 'they were gay all along' takes. They were in the moment, that kiss was real and passionate, and then yeah - they didn't know how to process it.

February 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJB

Pedro -- interesting. I, like Eric, did not see it coming at all. Most films with this setup never ever go there.

Starlit -- how is this the first i'm hearing of this?!!! how horrible. I rented so many things from blockbuster back in the day and I dont remember them ever chopping anythign out. That was for those specialty companies that specializd in being offended by everything (like that outfit in Utah that regularly edited films for sensitive mormons and got into trouble for it with filmmakers)

JB -- agree that time has been very kind to this.

February 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

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