Y Tu, Dude?
Profile: The Spanish-language, Mexican-produced, coming-of-age, road picture has been so successful—you can find it in big-chain multiplexes—that it's inevitable there will soon be an American knock-off that will inevitably get all fucked-up in the process. Think The Graduate, not Losin' It; Summer of '42, not Summer of Nailing Two.
Symptoms: Y Tu Mama Tambien is an enjoyable movie for all the reasons that will be eschewed in a mainstream Hollywood production. Hollywood doesn't do international remakes well, whether it's Sommersby—the execrable remake of The Return of Martin Guerre—or Penelope Cruz. For whatever reason, international films seem to do a better job of painting people as they really are. Take the main characters in Y Tu Mama. They're two teenage boys. They're not clever or cute; they're horny, scruffy, small-minded and, at times, cruel. Like Kay Bailey Hutchinson with a perpetual boner. In an American version, they will no doubt be Keanu-ed up big-time. Cute, kind of ditsy, with hijinks aplenty. They'll be played as outrageous but with hearts of gold; sweet, awkward and horny but nave. Like Ralph Nader with a perpetual boner. Unlike the present characters who mostly talk about the shape of their penises, their American cousins will have lots of meaningful talks about the lives and their parents, very self-aware that this is a significant moment in their lives. To that end, they will also talk about that one thing they've always wanted to do, that one thing that would change everything, give them a new perspective, change the course of their lives. And then they would do that one thing, and they would do it someplace where everyone can see that they have done that one thing, and everyone will clap and validate our cute little horndogs, and life will never be the same, and then they'll rescue Sandra Bullock from that bus bomb. As for the movie's rather tragic twist at the end, in Y Tu Mama, the twist is taken as it would in life, just part of the process. Though American films strive to happy everything up, they would no doubt keep the twist because the characters involved have had sex and anyone having sex in a movie must, by California statue, either get sick, stabbed or eaten. Diagnosis: No matter, we'll still end up with Y Tu Dude, Where's My Tambien?next summer.
Script Doctor Prescription: Leave the horny jerks alone. Let them be jerks, let the tragedy happen, let life just kind of unfold with no big foreshadowing, no self-actualization, no applause or life affirming endings. Oh, and leave in the bits about the butt love.
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