If you are looking for something similar to Y Tu Mamá También from the on-screen reunion of Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna, that’s a high expectation, but you will be pleasantly surprised. The days of performing as adolescent boys with raging hormones and communal masturbation scenes sadly seem to be a thing of the past. What you will find in Rudo y Cursi is the same humor, irony, nostalgia, friendship, and impeccable writing. Don’t expect anything less than an amazing script from writer/director Carlos Cuarón (Y Tu Mamá También). When Cuarón has his brother Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men) and friends, Alejandro González Iñárritu (Amores Perros and 21 Grams) and Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth) on board as producers, all the stars align!
Without providing spoilers, Beto “El Rudo” (Luna) and Tato “El Cursi” (Bernal) Verdusco are half brothers living with their biological mother, Elvira (Dolores Heredia), near a banana farm in Mexico where they both work and love to play soccer. Rudo is the eldest son who is married with children. His wife, Toña (Adriana Paz) is tired of him gambling away the little money and belongings they have acquired in his card game losses. Cursi’s first love is music and then soccer. He uses his time on the banana farm as a workout for the soccer field. At night he plays his accordion while singing to strangers and imagining that he’s a star. Both brothers love soccer, but don’t have dreams of becoming famous until they meet a recruiter, Batuta (Guillermo Francella), who has car trouble, as they are on their way to a local game. Batuta believes they both have potential to become professional players, but can only take one with him. In a decision-making move, one brother is left behind, upset at the other who has the chance of a lifetime.
As one brother makes it big and gets a contract playing professional soccer, the other finally has his turn to head to Mexico City and try out for a major team. With both men in Mexico City, the goal is to build their mother a beach home with all the money they will make. However, they quickly realize that living in the big city is anything but glamorous and saving money is not their forte. Rudo and Cursi are reunited in Mexico City and are signed to rival teams, but they continue to live together, especially when Cursi’s team purchases him a home. As with many young athletes, they are swept up in the reality of becoming some of the most beloved soccer players.
As a result of their new fame, Cursi gets himself a famous girlfriend, Maya (Jessica Mas), who takes full advantage of his wealth that he shares freely. He also convinces Batuta to get him a singing gig, and the results are some of the most hilarious scenes in the film. Rudo’s family joins him in the city where his wife sells vitamins, a new form of independence for her. Sadly, her husband still can’t give up his gambling ways. At the center of Rudo y Cursi is a shared dream that two young men achieve, leaving viewers wondering whether they can maintain their goals and friendship all the way to the end. When the brothers finally come head-to-head on the final soccer game of the season, which one will come out on top? More importantly, will their relationship remain strong?
Not only will Rudo y Cursi easily entertain audiences, but the delightful tale allows them to think of several different scenarios of how the film could end. Yet the final scene will somehow surprise everyone. To be honest, Bernal and Luna’s latest collaboration is much better than the one found in Sin Nombre, a more serious drama where they made their production debut earlier this year. If there was ever a film worth spending $10 on this month, it is Rudo y Cursi. Bernal and Luna have the same stellar chemistry on screen as they did when we met them eight years ago.
Rudo y Cursi premieres on Friday, May 8 in select theaters.