By Casey Campbell
Sólo con Tu Pareja operates as a sex comedy, finding humor in the many escapades of protagonist Tomás, but rounds itself out with a nice message. Surprisingly this is also a movie about sexual degeneracy, a false AIDS diagnosis, and suicide, so go figure.
Alfonso Cuarón’s feature debut is definitely something to see, and thanks to Netflix it’s now easier than when it was released in 1991. The movie was basically banned in it’s native Mexico, with the government refusing to distribute it to theaters and audiences. It earned awards and international recognition after being shown at festivals before Mexico finally decided to distribute the movie in 1993. From there, it was a success at the box-office.
Now, this is a movie that’s a successful comedy while dealing with some severely unfunny issues, and yet it works and audiences liked it. I can’t imagine any American studio producing something like this, though. And if something similar to that had happened, this movie would’ve fallen flat on its face. It may be cultural differences or something but these generally taboo topics make for some great cringe-worthy moments of self-reflection. It’s not everyday I laugh at a character contemplating suicide.
It’s also a really creative sex comedy, in that there’s a butt-ton of sex, but it’s all in service of the characters and to a lesser part, the story. Tomás is a sex addict, like Michael Fassbender in Shame, though it’s never really something that is portrayed as tragic. It’s partially how he gets himself into the main conflict, but it doesn’t really carry any weight. No one, other then the women he uses, really judge him for his acts. It isn’t until the end that he begins to question his choices, and that’s thanks to an AIDS diagnosis. If it wasn’t for the aforementioned comedy, or the pleasing cinematography of Emmanuel Lubezki, this movie could’ve been unwieldy and uneven. In the end the clashing tones actually mingle and the whole thing is a delight.
Alfonso Cuarón is a great director, and it seems like he always has been. Sólo con Tu Pareja is a mature and confident debut that does the impossible in making me laugh at sexual screwball comedy. It’s also cool to see how far Cuarón has come and where his career has taken him in hindsight. It’s definitely fun to see that the best Harry Potter film was directed by the guy who made a bunch of sex movies.
If you’re in the mood for a wild comedy that’s around 90 minutes long, look no further. Sólo con Tu Pareja is streaming on Netflix.