Rudo y Cursi
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Growing up in a small village in Mexico, Tato (Gael García Bernal) and his brother, Beto (Diego Luna), spent their free time on the field, playing soccer with their friends. Beto (whose friends call him “Rudo”) always dreamed of playing professionally, but now he’s grown up, with a job and a family of his own. Impulsive little brother Tato, on the other hand, still dreams of getting away—but not as a soccer player. Instead, Tato is determined to move to Texas and become a singer.

One day, on their way to play soccer, Rudo and Tato meet Baton (Guillermo Francella), a flashy man from Mexico City whose flashy convertible has a flat tire. They help him out—and, as he waits for his car to be fixed, he stops to watch their soccer game. After the game, he reveals that he’s a talent scout—a soccer talent scout. And while he’d love to take both brothers back to Mexico City with him, he can only take one.

On that day, the brothers’ lives are changed forever—with a single penalty kick.

Rudo y Cursi is a story of fame and fortune, sibling rivalry, and, of course, soccer. But this isn’t the formulaic sports movie that you might expect. It’s not an inspiring movie about an athlete who, through hard work and determination, climbs his way to the top and finally makes his wildest dreams come true. Instead, it’s a challenging (though often outrageously funny) story about a couple of brothers who discover that their wildest dreams might not be all that great after all.

Actually, it isn’t until one brother finally makes his way into the world of professional soccer that Rudo y Cursi’s story really begins. Then, more than hard work and dedication—or even the triumphs and adoration—it shows the pressures, the fierce competition, the jealousy, and the temptations that come with the fame and fortune.

Though writer/director Carlos Cuarón has crafted an intriguing story, the stars make it worth watching. Co-stars and close friends Luna and Bernal, who last appeared together in 2001’s Oscar-nominated Y Tu Mamá También, couldn’t be better. Both of these talented actors bring drama and laughs, life and energy in very different ways—Luna as brooding older brother who takes everything (except, perhaps, his family) very seriously and (especially) Bernal as the lovably flamboyant aspiring singer.

Despite its often serious subject matter—and its tendency to drag a bit at times—Rudo y Cursi is a refreshing change of pace from the same old fluffy, against-all-odds sports movie. So if you’re a sports fan (and especially if you’re a soccer fan), don’t let the subtitles scare you away. Be sure to spend one of your team’s off nights enjoying this out-of-the-ordinary sports drama.

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