Seven years ago, Mexican cuties and real-life buddies Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna charmed the birds out of the trees as young men on a road trip to sexual maturity in Y Tu Mama También, directed by Alfonso Cuaron from a script he wrote with his younger brother, Carlos. In Rudo y Cursi, the two actors now with international clout shake those branches again. To complete the circle, the production is written and directed by Carlos Cuaron and produced by, among others, Alfonso.
The brothers-making-a-movie-about- brothers backstory makes for publicity, but Rudo y Cursi is a sly miniaturist pleasure on its own terms, a piquant fable about the bouncing ups and downs of success, failure, competition, and comradeship. (The title means ''Tough and Corny,'' a fair summation of the characters' contrasting personalities, though the boys' names are actually Beto and Tato.) Luna (Beto/Rudo) and Garcia Bernal (Tato/Cursi) play siblings who work at a banana plantation and play local soccer for the love of the sport until they are discovered by a scout (Guillermo Francella). The fast life as professional athletes beckons and so, inevitably, does the temptation to squander the talent and bonds they possess for the immediate gratification of what they think they want. The intimate movie hums with a back-in-the-hood vibe that gets the two stars playing contentedly, and delightfully, for the love of local filmmaking. B+