Rudo y Cursi
Yes, the leads of Y tu mamá también are together again, in a film written and directed by the guy who cowrote that script (and whose brother Alfonso Cuarón directed Y tu…). What’s missing this time around is not just the hot three-way sex; Carlos Cuarón’s script, about half-brothers who rise through the Mexican soccer leagues on opposing teams, feels more generic. The brothers are given character traits rather than being written as fully rounded characters. Rudo (Luna) is a hotheaded goalie with a gambling problem. Cursi (Bernal) is a gifted forward but dreams of a career as a singer. In those traits you can see their rise and fall tidily charted in advance.
Not that the film doesn’t have its charms. When Bernal and Luna get into verbal sparring, the film’s energy level goes up. But it’s supposed to be a film about soccer, and we barely see them play. Cuarón usually cuts away from the games to reaction shots. He may be covering for his leads’ limited soccer skills, but that’s no excuse. If you’re going to throw away actors as compelling as Bernal and Luna in a soccer picture, you’d better have some great soccer.