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With: Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, Guillermo Francella, Dolores Heredia, Adriana Paz, Jessica Mas, Salvador Zerboni, Tania Esmeralda Aguilar, Joaquín Cosio, Alfredo Alfonso, Fermín Martínez, Eduardo Von, Jorge Zárate, Axel Ricco, Harold Torres
Written by: Carlos Cuarón
Directed by: Carlos Cuarón
MPAA Rating: R for pervasive language, sexual content and brief drug use
Language: Spanish, with English subtitles
Running Time: 103
Date: 12/19/2008

Rudo y Cursi (2009)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Fool's Goal

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Carlos Cuaron received an Oscar nomination for co-writing Y tu mamá también (2001), with his older brother Alfonso, who directed. Carlos now makes his feature debut with Rudo y Cursi, featuring the two charismatic stars of that previous film: Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna. They play half-brothers, who are the soccer champs of their rural, flyspeck town. Tato (Bernal) would rather be a singer, and Beto (Luna) has a wife and kids he can't quite support (though he has a full-size arcade style soccer video game in his living room). A talent scout finds them and sends them both to Mexico City, where they each begin playing for rival teams (and earning their title nicknames). They get rich fast, and the movie covers every conceivable cliché, as Tato falls for a high class, mover-and-shaker woman and Beto develops a gambling addiction and racks up a huge debt. Then we get the typical "you must throw the game for money" gambit. It all has something to do with the boys competing for the love of their mother. And yet, after all this totally expected stuff, Cuaron throws in a rather unexpected ending. To tell the truth, I'm not sure if I admired this tactic, or if it annoyed me. Rudo y Cursi has a lot of energy; it moves quickly and nimbly, and its stars are always fun to watch, but the material just isn't as fresh as the presentation. [This was featured at the 52th San Francisco International Film Festival.]

Best Buy Co, Inc.