Y Tu Mama Tambien (2001): Cuaron’s Oscar-Nominated Raunchy Sex Comedy

Mexican-born filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón is one of the most talented and versatile directors working in Hollywood today.

Y Tu Mama Tambien was screened to much acclaim at the Venice, Toronto, and New York Film Festivals.

The film was a box-office hit wherever it played, and even the Academy showed its appreciation by nominating the original script for an Oscar.

IFC Films, which released the picture domestically, scored one of its biggest commercial successes with a box-office gross of over $13 million.

Going back to his native country, Cuaron made a raunchy comedy about two perpetually horny teenagers, who come from different social backgrounds. The bold lingo, candid depiction of drug use, and graphic portrayal of sexual conduct (including masturbation).

The film made an international star of Gael García Bernal, who later worked with Spaniard Almodovar (Bad Education) and Brazilian Walter Sallas, among others.

At 17, and with their respective girlfriends away in Europe, Julio Zapata (Bernal) and his upper-class friend Tenoch (Diego Luna) are eager to begin their summer season, which promises to be a fun one, full of drink, drugs, and lots of sex.

During a wedding, the duo meet Luisa (Maribel Verdú), the wife of Tenoch’s older and boring scholarly cousin. Before long, they manipulate her into joining then on a road trip to Heaven’s Mouth, a made-up beach paradise they claim is on the Oaxacan coast. For her part, Luisa looks forward to escapig her troubled life for a while.

Tensions between the two friends begin to rise, when both take turns having sex with Luisa.  Soon what was meant to be frivolous meaningless sex becomes more personal act, based on rivalry for the girl’s time and affection.  Increasingly driven by jealousy, the arguments threaten to destroy their friendship.

Truly erotic, without ever being crass or vulgar, as most American libidinous teen comedies tend to be, Y Tu Mama Tambien is a variant of coming of age tale, which tests the definition of male friendship, tackling sensitive issues of repressed anxieties, in and out of the bedroom.

Oscar Nominations: 1

Original Screenplay: Carlos Cuaron and Alfonso Cuaron


Running Time: 105 Minutes
Directed By: Alfonso Cuarón
Written By: Carlos Cuarón, Alfonso Cuarón


Maribel Verdu as Luisa Cortes
Gael García Bernal as Julio Zapata
Diego Luna as Tenoch Iturbide
Diana Bracho as Silvia Allende de Iturbide
Emilio Echeverria as Miguel Iturbide