Maribel Verdu, Gael García Bernal, ...
Credit: Y Tu Mama Tambien: Daniel Daza

In recent years, the label ”coming-of-age movie” has been wasted on every voyeuristic teen flick with ambitions (slightly) higher than ”Girls Gone Wild.” The emphasis, predictably, has been on the ”coming,” while attendant issues of maturity — say, the scary fungibility of sexual identity — are scrupulously boxed out of the frame.

Given this climate of reductive exploitation, you’ll be relieved to hear that Alfonso Cuarón’s lovely, lyrical Y Tu Mamá También totally shows these two guys experimenting with, um, fluid dynamics…because, see, there’s this swimming pool, and they…well, you remember the ”tainted beer” in ”American Pie,” right?

The truth is that we may lack a vocabulary for what’s going on in this delicately explicit Spanish-language road-tripper. That’s okay: Cuarón gently instructs us, as his three exquisitely natural leads — rich boy (Diego Luna), poor boy (Gael García Bernal), and brokenhearted woman (Maribel Verdú) — motor innocently across a Mexico sown with subtle portents, both numinous and worldly. And amid all the much-discussed ”f”-ing — clumsily ecstatic and silly and unfailingly sincere — you’ll catch the rare but unmistakable scent of the ineffable.

Y Tu Mama Tambien
  • Movie
  • 105 minutes