When Critics Disagree: Rudo y Cursi (Rough and Corny)

Dear Readers,

I have always believed that the whole point of film criticism is not to serve as consumers guide, namely, to recommend to readers which particular movies to see or not to see.  No. The goal of criticism is to shed light, or illuminate, a particular work by placing it against the contexts in which it was made.  Thus, the more reviews one reades, the better off a reader is.

We usually don't have the resources to do this, but it just happens that “Rudo Y Cursi” (“Rough and Corny”), which opens this Friday in N.Y. and L.A., before platforming in other cities, was seen by me and by my colleague, Michael A. Dennis, one of our regular contributors.

While I didn't dislike the picture, I thought it was a minor work, whereas Michael thought it was a spectacular feature debut.  I graded the film as C+, whereas he gave it B+.  In our grading system it's the difference between a two-star and a four-star picture.  I therefore urge to read both essays, which are now posted, go to see the film and then decide for yourself.

My guess is that “Rudo Y Cursi” will divide shraply critics, especially those who had admired Alfonso Cuaron (co-writer here and Carlos' brother) “Y Tu Mama Tambien.”