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Rudo Y Cursi

Released: 2008

Genre: Comedy

Runtime: 1 hr 41 min

MPAA Rating: R

Director: Carlos Cuaron

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

Brothers from a rural town join different soccer teams in Mexico City.

While it's never a bad movie, it is never a memorable one either.

Review by: SteveRhodes

Added: 8 years ago

"The poorest of places are where you'll find the diamond in the rough," the narrator tells us in RUDO Y CURSI. The film reunites Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN's two stars, Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal, who play brothers Beto and Tato. While there's nothing wrong with their latest collaboration, it never reaches the level of the consistently entertaining Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN.

RUDO Y CURSI is best in its opening section, which is set in a poor but happy village in Mexico near a banana plantation. The evocative sets, as well as the sound of birds and domestic animals, perfectly capture the feeling of life there.

But we soon leave village life and head for the hustle and bustle of noisy Mexico City, where the sounds we hear are of belching automobiles rather than melodious animals. Some of the people there prove to act like animals too, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

One day a sports agent in a flashy, red Corvette convertible has a flat tire outside of the little hamlet where Beto and Tato live. This rags-to-riches (and maybe back again) story gets into gear when the agent watches Beto, as a goalie, and Tato, as a kicker, in a local soccer game. This very gregarious and likable agent starts spinning a tale of riches to be made in the world of pro soccer for the two brothers. (The film's title comes from the brothers' nicknames of Rudo for Beto and Cursi for Tato.)

Before the brothers know it, they are whisked off to Mexico City to join different teams. As long as their playing improves, the wealth that they've never before known keeps coming their way. But, this being Mexico, everyone demands their cut of the action. From the agent to the coach, everyone has their hand out, so, while the riches keep coming to the brothers, the money appears to be flowing out even faster than it's coming in.

Since they play for different teams, you can probably guess where and under what circumstances the ending will occur. Once the plot is set up, everything is fairly predictable after that. This isn't as much of a problem as is the story's inability to be particularly successful as either a comedy or a tragedy. We like the brothers. We feel kind of sorry for them. But, on the whole, the movie just doesn't produce very strong reactions one way or the other.

While it's never a bad movie, it is never a memorable one either. It's one of those comedies that produces no laughs, at least not from me. I loved Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN, but I found RUDO Y CURSI merely okay. Finally, although I am not a soccer fan, I should point out that, if you go just to see the soccer, you'll be really disappointed, since there is remarkably little soccer shown in the movie. The camera is frequently more interested in the reaction from the stands than what is happening on the field.

RUDO Y CURSI runs 1:41. The film is in Spanish with English subtitles. It is rated R for "pervasive language, sexual content and brief drug use" and would be acceptable for teenagers.