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LOSTATSEA.NET > FEATURES >

September 15, 2009
RATING: 6.5/10
Mexico´s dynamic duo, Gael Garcia and Diego Luna, come together once again in Rudo y Cursi ("Tough and Pansy"), the latest movie written and directed by Mexican screenwriter Carlos Cuarón. Like Carlos´s Y Tu Mama Tambien, this film unwraps with an omnipresent narrator explaining and concluding, scenery from Mexico's southern coast, and of course a plethora of scenes in which the main characters overtake the screen with overacted, curse-laden fights. Though the latter has become a trademark of sorts, it is a comedic resource that can become quite annoying when, as in the case of Rudo y Cursi, it is overdone.



Rudo (Diego Luna) and Cursi (Gael) are half-brothers living in a small and forsaken Mexican coastal village dedicated entirely to the plantation of bananas. One day, out of the blue, a talent scout passes by while the two are playing a friendly soccer match with some of the locals. The scout immediately decides to take one of them (a decision made with the help of a very funny goal shootout) to play professionally on a Mexico City team. When the scout returns later on to takes the other player as well, for a different pro team, a problem soon snowballs from this simple setup; Rudo and Cursi are from a small coastal village and as such are imbued with a distinct accent (which does sound kind of funny, for a while), and with no education to speak of they are prone to behaving like a pair of chimpanzees trained in the art of slapstick comedy. These fish-out-of-water factors are referenced in virtually every scene and the joke is played through the entire movie; as with any plot device stretched too thin, the gimmick can become quite tiring and sometimes misleads from some of the more serious and enjoyable parts of the story. That said, I have to admit that watching Gael Garcia´s grupero music video really jerked a laugh from me at the theater.



At a certain point, Rudo y Cursi is reminiscent of Tom Hanks' The Terminal, a movie that I hated. Both films share an ideological flaw that is both offensive and very unfunny: foreigners are stupid. In the case of The Terminal, Hanks plays a man from Ukraine who can´t communicate and therefore has to resort to a routine of monkey-acting and wild noise-making to connect with people. The same happens to Rudo and Cursi when they move from their rural backwater to the big city, and their language liability turns them into a carnivalesque show moving through the streets of Mexico City. In the age of globalization, the gag has long since been played out.

All things considered, Carlos Cuarón's movie is not that bad. The concluding 15-minutes are by far the best part of the movie. Only in the final act are we treated to Cuarón's appreciable storytelling skills, and the end flourish is enough to blur the memory of Rudo y Cursi's more forgettable moments, those in which it repeatedly tries (in vein) to be funny by relying on the same not so funny joke.

TRAILER: www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5UgJEP-IRU

SEE ALSO: www.rudoycursimovie.com

--
Adrian Perez


See other articles by Adrian Perez.

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