On May 5th, Nike Sportswear's Cinema Tuesday series at the Montalbán curated by Flux presented the L.A. premiere of Carlos Cuarón’s Rudo y Cursi, and everyone was in a football (soccer) frenzy. The event, thrown in association with the Consulate General of Mexico, Los Angeles and Nacional Records, featured soccer players doing tricks while greeting attendees as they entered into the theater. Maneuvering through the dense crowd, we quickly found the free concession stand and stocked up on M&M’s and Red Vines before heading to our seats.
With Diego Luna and May cover boy Gael Garcia Bernal headlining this film, I had anticipated Rudo y Cursi to be the second coming of Y Tu Mama Tambien. After all, Carlos’ brother was the director and maybe they made movies the same way -- but that fantasy was quickly dismissed. Well, if the bare bums and sex appeal weren't there, there would surely be soccer, my favorite sport and a dominant theme in the film. Again, I was wrong. This movie has much soccer in it as the documentary Darwin’s Nightmare has cooking. The film merely hints at the idea of soccer, as the main focus is the relationship between two brothers and the sibling rivalry that ensues over who will build their mother’s dream house.
Beto (Diego Luna) and Tato (Gael García Bernal) Verdusco, brothers who work at a banana plantation, are discovered playing soccer by a talent scout. Though Tato’s dream is to be a famous singer, it’s his soccer skills that put him on the map. Though Beto feels betrayed and is left behind, he soon joins his brother in Mexico City as a goalkeeper. Though their animosity is pushed aside at the most critical of moments, the chain reaction already set in motion cannot be stopped. And in the end, limited by their own demons, they cannot escape their destiny.
For those who love soccer, don't get your hopes up. But if you’re looking for a movie with an actual story, humor and Gael Garcia Bernal singing “Quiero Que Me Quieras” (Cheap Trick’s "I Want You To Want Me") with an accordion, then by all means, run don't walk to this film! Leaving the Montalbán after Rudo Y Cursi, I felt excited about the state of cinema, and whatever other gems Cinema Tuesdays have in store.
Rudo y Cursi is out in theaters on May 8th. Cinema Tuesdays at Nike Sportswear at The Montalbán take place monthly and will be running until the end of the year.