Movies in Spanish: Y Tu Mamá También

Y Tu Mamá También

Actors: Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna, Maribel Verdú

Director: Alfonso Cuarón

Movie location: Mexico

Movie Genre: Comedy/Drama

Type of Spanish: Mexican

Swearing and Slang: ¡Mucho!

Netflix Instant Streaming: Yes

Family Friendly: No. Rated R

Last night I watched Y Tu Mamá También for the 3rd time. I am proud to say that I understood a lot more Spanish without reading the subtitles than I did when I last watched it in 2008. However, I was less pleased than I expected to be able to understand so much because it seemed that every other word was either swearing or talking about something foul. The teacher in me is still conditioned to glare at students who swear in Spanish at school, so the reflex was strong throughout this entire movie and took away from my enjoyment a bit.

I struggle with whether or not to recommend this movie to people who are learning Spanish. So, instead of recommending it or not, I’ll lay out a few pros and cons and you can decide for yourself if you’d like to watch it.

Pro: The movie takes place in Mexico, so the Spanish that you hear throughout is very similar to what you hear around you if you live in the United States. You can read the English subtitles and listen to learn new words and phrases.

Con: There is lots of swearing in this movie, so be careful with using any new phrases that you pick up by listening!

Pro: It’s a type of coming-of-age story that involves a road trip. Always a good formula for a plot.

Con: The young guys who are the main characters (Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna) annoyed me! They were jerks most of the time and didn’t have many redeeming qualities.

Pro: There is a lot of nudity and sex. If you enjoy movies like this, then you’ll like Y Tu Mamá También.

Con: There is a lot of nudity and sex. If this offends you, or there are kids around, then definitely skip this movie.



Los Abrazos Rotos- Broken Embraces

This blog is not intended to provide movie reviews or critiques. I took one class in college called “Cross Cultural Documentary Film-making” and that is the extent of my knowledge about films. I am simply writing to recommend movies to people who have an interest in learning Spanish and would like more exposure to the language and the culture. When you aren’t familiar with any actors or directors, choosing a Spanish language movie to watch can be a daunting task. So, here check out this blog to find out which ones I like and comments about the type of Spanish spoken in the movie.

Broken Embraces is called Los Abrazos Rotos in Spanish, but look for it under the English title to watch it in the States. I had no idea what to expect when I turned started watching this movie. Here is a foreign film watching tip: read the plot summary in Netflix or on the DVD sleeve before watching. Not only is the language unfamiliar, but some cultural references and settings are too. Getting an idea of what the movie will be about will set your mind ready to watch and you’ll understand more of what is happening.

Anyway, the movie starts out with a blind man who seduces a smoking hot blond girl who he met on the street. I never mind a film that starts off with a good sex scene, I’m not going to lie. So, things were off to a good start for me.  As it turns out, the writer has a tragic secret in his past involving Penelope Cruz, who is gorgeous to watch in the movie.

I don’t want to spoil any of the story for you, so I’ll stop there.The plot of the movie is slightly complicated but I think I followed it pretty well. The Spanish in this movie is from Spain. I have only been to Spain once and the accent is very different from the Latin American Spanish that I am used to. I read the subtitles in order to keep track of the story, but I still improved my Spanish just by listening.

I recommend Broken Embraces. The movie was enjoyable and the acting was good. Penelope Cruz was great and the scenes were colorful and interesting to watch. Even though the Spanish is difficult, your Spanish abilities can still benefit from listening to the movie as you read the subtitles.