And, “We’re all going to die!!!”
When Y Tu Mamá También made its theatrical release in the United States, I was in high school and belatedly getting my driver’s permit several months after my 16th birthday. I was never huge into films but I’d go to the local video store and rent movies on occasion. Regardless, the most sex in a movie I’d experienced was the the PG stuff in James Bond films.
My mother heard an interview about the movie (probably on NPR) and suggested that we all go see it. I didn’t bother to look it up and maybe my dad didn’t either? That part I’m not sure because why my sister, who is two years older, and I got in the car that night to go see a movie with my parents has been lost in the folds of time. We had to drive to a theater in New Jersey that was probably 45 minutes away since the movie had a limited US release (I’m going to guess that is because of a combination of subtitles and mature sexual content.)
But what I do remember, is this:
The movie had a lot of sex in it. Graphic sex. And for some reason, the scene of Julio and Tenoch masturbating on separate diving boards at a vacant country club is one of the images that is burned into my memory.
Also there were drugs. And a lot of pot smoking.
I also remember sitting next to my dad with palpable uncomfortable tension while we watched this coming of age journey about the meaning of life, sex, friendship with a little bit of Mexican politics. I’m not kidding, I don’t even know if I’d be any less uncomfortable now that I’m 31 than when I was a teenager. You could cut the rigidity with a knife, although if you asked my mother, she probably didn’t feel that way at all.
After the movie let out, neither my dad, my sister nor I said anything. We just kind of walked in awkward silence out to the parking lot. My mom, on the other hand, had a lot to say.
If you recall, I had my learner’s permit so I was still in the “practice” phase of driving that is required for 6 months in the state of Pennsylvania. This was new for those of us born in 1985, but honestly, I hate driving so I don’t think I cared as much as many others would in a similar transition era.
My parents thought that it would be GREAT for me to practice on the drive home because it was nighttime, the way back was pretty straightforward but also highway driving so I’d have to practice merging into traffic. (I still can’t merge very well and there is nothing I hate more than driving about 45 miles per hour.)
Anyway, we get in the car and my mom wants to talk about the movie. Just kill me. It is kind of her thing to have conversations that she knows we probably don’t want to have when we are stuck in the car. I’m not usually the driver though.
This is a guess, but I was driving and my dad was probably in the front passenger seat. My mom and sister in the back. And my mom was so excited and loved the movie so much that all she wanted to do was talk about it.
Meanwhile, there was construction and my right lane is ending. But I was white knuckled wondering who was more uncomfortable: me, my dad or my sister. I guess I’ll never know but I was having trouble getting over because traffic was moving really fast and the orange cones signifying the closed lane were slowly approaching when out of the back seat my older sister started screaming “OH MY GOD, WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!” More than once.
I don’t know about how near to death we were, but I did get over and we are all still around to know that 15 years later, I’m still just as bad as I was on that night. On the plus side, it shut my mom up so I could pay attention to driving. Whew.
I recently watched it and (probably because a lot happened if 15 years) much of it was new to me. I remembered the general feeling of discomfort and now I know why. It isn’t just sex, it is Louisa teaching them how to have sex. I’m talking about a finger well placed in the butt, how to eat pussy, their cum faces and all the rest of things. I almost feel like all boys should watch the movie just to give him a a preview because porn does not always represent sex realistically and maybe they should all learn how to last a little longer and not jackhammer a girl without having any notion of female pleasure.
I fucking love that movie. It was so good. Insightful. Tender. Louisa has the most insane body too. Wow, girl. But mostly, I feel like there is probably so much more than I could ever grasp on one or two viewings about what the movie is actually saying. What the omniscent narrator adds to the road trip. Some of the haunting glimpses of the future.
So, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be pondering the meaning of Louisa’s last words to Tenoch and Julio.
“Life is like foam, so give yourself away like the sea.”