Rudo y Cursi is a Mexican film that had off-the-charts potential. The film's producers (Alfonso Cuarón [Children of Men], Alejandro González Iñárritu [Babel] and Guillermo del Toro [Pan's Labyrinth] and stars (Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal, reunited for the first time since Y tu mamá también) gave this film the ingredients to perhaps make it Mexico's Citizen Kane. But unfortunately the result is a bit more like the debut album of an American Idol winner: that is, an overly-crafted mess with moments of disjointed amusement, perhaps because there was just one too many cooks in la cocina.
Written and directed by Carlos Cuarón (who wrote Y tu mamá también), Rudo y Cursi is a tale of two brothers: Beto (Luna) and Tato (Bernal), nicknamed "Rudo" (tough) and "Cursi" (corny), respectively. The brothers work on a banana plantation in some remote corner of Mexico and play soccer for the village team. Rudo dreams of playing soccer professionally while Cursi dreams of becoming a famous singer; both dream of having enough money to build a house for their mother. The Spanish-language film is a rags-to-riches fable about what happens when these dreams (at least some of them) come true. It's a film that lends credibility to the phrase "be careful what you wish for."
Both Rudo and Cursi are plucked from obscurity and catapulted to fame and fortune, by way of an opportunistic agent (Guillermo Francella) and a seemingly very corrupt professional soccer world. They soon become household name soccer stars in Mexico and begin to experience both the luxuries (houses, Hummers, Dolce & Gabbana clothes) and vices (gambling, women, drugs) that life in the Mexico City fast lane affords. In remarkably ...1