Ironic it is and yet I can’t help it: More often than not I love sports movies. Whether its “Slap Shot”
, “The Natural”
or even the double trouble “Bull Durham”
is in it, normally on my bleah list) there’s a reasonably good chance that I’m gonna fall in love with it. And then I try watching whatever sport it’s about for real and inevitably fall asleep in minutes. I guess I need more characterization and back story in my entertainment than your average sports broadcast bothers with. The Mexican film “Rudo y Cursi”
turned out to be one of those sports films, even though there’s not a soccer ball to be seen on the cover. It might trick you into watching it, but you’ll be glad you did. This pleasant comedy is more about a strained and awkwardly funny relationship between two brothers than the sport they play in it.
Teaming up again for the first time (I think) since their groundbreaking and Oscar nominated 2001 film “Y tu mamá también”
, Diego Luna
and Gael Garcia Bernal
appear in this feature film debut by the brother of Alfonso Cuarón
(who directed ‘Y tu Mama’
), Carlos Cuarón
. It must run in the family because “Rudo y Cursi”
is a pleasant find and a funny movie that I would imagine would appeal to about anyone, or at least those who either speak Spanish or can read.
) and Beto
) are two brothers living in a ramshackle village who couldn’t be more different. Tato
dreams of fame as a singer and Beto
is just struggling to make ends meet for his family. When a talent scout spots them playing soccer he offers a deal to just one of them to go to Mexico city and try out for the big teams. Tato
wins, much to Beto
’s chagrin and downright anger, and he ships off with the scout to the big city. Soon, Tato
ends up being a big star, called ‘Cursi’
(‘cheesy’) by the fans and he convinces the scout to send for his brother to give him a chance as well. Beta
ends up being a big hit as well and soon is called ‘Rudo’
(‘rough’) by his admirers. But this is a rise and fall story and soon things begin to go wrong for both brothers due to their own personal issues. Despite all their problems, the brothers appear to need nothing more than each other to succeed, but getting over their resentments of each other is maybe too tough a nut to crack.
This isn’t laugh out loud funny, it’s clever-grinning-to-yourself funny and that sense of humor, of watching these two kind of pathetic men lose themselves repeatedly to their failings, could have just been depressing in someone else’s hands. Carlos Cuarón
proves the talent in his family must be in the blood because he gives this just the right touch of pathos to feel real, but not too much to overwhelm the silliness of it all. It’s largely due as well to the enormous skills of Bernal
who make such a great team together (again) that it’s clear that they need to keep doing this. They’re so different and yet bounce off each other so well, that I’m starting to think that we need a series of Spanish speaking ‘Abbot and Costello'
type movies with them together. “Bernal y Luna Resuelven el Wolfman”
or maybe they could just do the classic baseball skit next “¿Quién está prendido primer?”
It’s watching these two play off each other that elevates “Rudo y Cursi”
to more than just another rise and fall sports film.
The Blu-Ray really captures some of the gorgeous colors of Mexico and is a clear choice of format to watch this in. It also comes with commentary by the director and the two actors, deleted scenes, a making of featurette, an intentionally bad Tejano music video with Garcia
performing “I Want You to Want Me”
, and a q&a with the director and two leads. I didn’t think upon receiving this that I’d warm to it the way I did, but now I’m glad I have the better quality copy. If the year continues the way it has been, "Rudo y Cursi"
might very well end up on my best of the year list.
Click Here to Buy Rudo Y Cursi [Blu-ray]