On the surface, the movie Y Tu Mama Tambien is about sex and the movie Star Wars: Attack of the Clones isn’t.
After all, there are, by my count, 2,143 words in the Sex/Nudity section of the ScreenIt.com review of the former, and 91 words on Sex/Nudity for the later.
In Star Wars sex and nudity gets about as wild as:
Later, they playfully roll around on the ground (over and over) until she’s eventually straddling him (but nothing else happens).
while in Y Tu Mama Tambien
it’s more along the lines of:
From a distance, we see Julio and Tenoch lying on separate diving boards above a pool masturbating (we see their hands rhymically moving at their crotches as they mention various things and women to fantasize about). We then see them react to climaxing (we don’t see the actual orgasms, but do see some seminal fluid land in the pool).
Star Wars is rated PG. Y Tu Mama Tambien isn’t rated at all.
And so conventional wisdom would say that Star Wars is a good family movie and Y Tu Mama Tambien, well, isn’t.
But let’s scratch below this surface.
There are two plot lines in this most recent episode of the Star Wars trilogy. First, a military - political drama that involves a lot of robots and two groups called The Republic and The Federation. Second involves getting Darth Vader and Natalie Portman to sleep together so that they can produce Luke Skywalker for the fourth movie in the trilogy.
As near as I can tell, the “love” between these two exists on some mystical plane that we’re never really filled in on the details of. They knew each other as children. He’s been thinking of her every day for 10 years. She bares her midriff a lot. He stares into her eyes a lot. They steal a kiss they then regret. They “playfully roll around on the ground (over and over)”.
In other words they have a fantasy relationship that bears little or no similarity to how actual relationships start and develop. They are two icons that bump and merge in the stars. And then they get married beside a lake.
In Y Tu Mama Tambien there is no love to speak of. There are two lifelong friends and a woman, the cousin of one, who take a road trip to the seashore and have assorted varieties of spontaneous and consensual sex along the way. The friends argue. The sex is clumsy and difficult. There’s beer. And pot. And more beer. And a beautiful secluded beach. And a family of escaped pigs. And then it’s over.
In other words, in spirit if not in detail, it’s a lot like the everyday relationships going on all around us. It’s about how people meet and how sex actually happens and why people freak out about it and how people can be friends and then not be friends.
So which is the family movie? The one that perpetuates dreamy impossible science fiction romance, or the one that doesn’t? I’m not sure I know the answer because, at 19 months, wee Oliver doesn’t go to the movies yet. But I’ve a hunch that in the end its the steamy Mexican teen sex that might provide a better education in the ways of the world.