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Rudo & Cursi (Rudo y Cursi)


Stars: Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna, Guillermo Francella, Dolores Heredia, Adriana Paz, Jessica Mas

Director: Carlos Cuaron

It seems just a tad unfair to reunite Luna and Bernal again eight years after their costarring triumph in Y Tu Mama Tambien since the former is now considerably taller than Bernal which causes unmerited amusement when they appear together in this pleasant enough but ultimately forgettable comedy-drama.

The underprivileged brothers live in a small town in rural Mexico where their otherwise miserable lives are enlivened by playing football for the village team. Luna aspires to be a soccer star. Bernal excels at the game but his real ambition is to be a pop star. Hearing him sing on screen, however, made me wonder if his ambition was simply cynically intended by writer-director Carlos Cuaron who scripted Y Tu Mama Tambien.

Eventually the brothers end up as big league soccer stars but their constant lifelong relationship tends to upset their fraternal equilibrium until – naturally – a feelgood climax intervenes.

Without the stars, the film would barely register. As it is, apart from their considerable charisma and attractive acting, Rudo & Cursi never quite engaged my attention. (Celebrated Mexican moviemakers Alfonso Cuaron (director of ‘Y Tu Mama Tambien’ and ‘Children of Men’), Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (‘Babel’, ’21 Grams’) and Guillermo del Toro (‘Cronos’, ‘Hellboy’) serve as producers).

Alan Frank

USA/Mexico 2008. UK Distributor: Optimum Releasing. Colour.
101 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 29 Jun 2009