This teen melodrama about a working class family in Mexico City is both hard to watch and hard to stop watching. The story is a well-crafted, methodical train wreck of the bad decisions people make to derail their own lives.
Hugo (Alejandro Belmonte) wants to tryout for the youth team of Pumas UNAM, but he lacks the skills, grades, discipline, and family support necessary. He helps hijack buses of the company where his father is a driver. His mother runs a quesadilla shop in front of their home. His parents want Hugo to get into college, and they are glad he has a very smart and hot girlfriend (Siouzana Melikian as Julia) with high aspirations. But, first-time Writer-Director Victor Avelar shows that unless you work for your dreams, you could be defined by your circumstances.
Mexican telenovelas are often stories about everyday people, where the viewer easily relates to the characters, and the romance ends with a big wedding. The ending of this film, however, is purposefully vague, perhaps in order to spur discussion. It does have the requisite telenovela beatings (by father and hooligans) and T&A, with women as sex objects, even targeted by 10 year old boys.
Pumas UNAM was founded as a university team and plays in Liga MX, the top league in Mexico. Director Avelar says the film is not about fútbol, but there is quite a bit of Pumas footage in the film. The title of the film comes from a famous Pumas football song. In the bus hijackings, scores of Pumas fans commandeer buses to take them to the games. I assume this was a typical problem for the time period.
Avelar also says the film is about relationships, but the only caring relationship in this film is between Julia and her sister (Natalia Esperon). They look like twins, but in reality Esperon is 12 years older.
Loosely translated, the title means “How Could I Not Love You”.
In Spanish with English subtitles
Soccer Movie Mom Rating = 6
Released: 2008-03-12 (Mexico)
Director: Victor Avelar @VictorAvelarMtz
Stars: Alejandro Belmonte , Siouzana Melikian , Natalia Esperon
Watch the Trailer (Spanish)