Focal Curve

Bound, Y Tu Mamá También, American Wedding

Bound

The plot: Girl meets girl, girls scam Mafia.

Ask anyone about this movie and the first thing they’ll mention is steamy lesbian sex. Well, yes, there’s that, but it’s also a pretty decent mob caper thriller to boot. Gina Gershon is a recently-released ex-convict who finds work remodeling an apartment. The next door neighbors are Jennifer Tilly and her gangster thug boyfriend Joe Pantoliano. Tilly and Gershon exchange meaningful glances and flirtations, quickly culminating in a full-on lesbian affair. They then conspire to steal two million dollars from the Mafia, and dangerous hijinks ensue. As might be expected, the plan comes off with a wide range of hitches, complications, double-crosses, and a stack of dead bodies.

The lesbian angle is one of the more original and refreshing aspects of this movie. The attraction between them is genuine, and the relationship is depicted as it would be between opposite genders, just two people who have the hots for each other. This was the first movie by Larry and Andy Wachowski, the fraternal duo who brought us the Matrix trilogy. While the subject matter is entirely different, there are some stylistic similarities, especially in some of the camera work.

Rating: 3 stars

Y Tu Mamá También

The plot: A pair of young Mexican friends go on a road trip with an older woman and learn lessons of life and sex along the way.

Ask anyone about this movie and the first thing they’ll mention is the graphic sex. Basically the entire movie is about sex, but in a completely frank and healthy way. It’s not pornographic or exploitative, just brutally honest. Two best friends on their summer vacation before heading off to university meet up with an exotic Spanish beauty, the estranged wife of the cheating cousin of one of the buddies. The guys are keen to impress her, because hey, that’s how young guys are. But she’s not easily impressed, and the three converse over a wide range of topics (mostly dirty stuff) on their journey.

If I had to pin this movie down to a single theme, I’d say it’s about maturity: the way your view of the world–and especially of relationships–changes drastically between the ages of 18 and 30. Experience brings perspective, and the things you think are important at 18 are just not a big deal a few years down the road.

Rating: 4 stars

American Wedding

The plot: Nonexistent. Horny pie-poker kid grows up and gets engaged and his horny jackass friends complicate everything.

Ask anyone about this movie and the first thing they’ll mention is that it sucks. American Pie was a guilty-pleasure movie, the kind you know intellectually is really lame and stupid, but you enjoy it nonetheless. But this third flick in the Pie trilogy should have never been made. It’s a series of predictable setups for embarassment and misunderstanding, barely interconnected. Even the gratuitous nudity isn’t enough to make it watchable (though it’s certainly appreciated).

Rating: sucked

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