Video Review: Jesse McCartney "Beautiful Soul"

Tenoch (Jesse McCartney) waits outside the apartment building for Luisa. She looks outside her window and smiles. Climbing down the fire escape, she leaps onto the ground and drives with him in his truck.

Tenoch glances at Luisa through the side mirror and she holds his gaze. Several friends inside the car laugh and talk during the ride. A young woman with blonde hair puts her hands around McCartney as he drives.

Luisa, wearing blue American starred striped socks and cowboy boots, sticks her feet out the window. They stop at a bait shop. McCartney tries out a fishing rod. The owner keeps an eye on them, his hands on his hips.

Luisa sits in the backseat, watching the blur of the trees. A friend in the passenger seat pores over a map. Luisa stands a fence and sees the deteriorated train tracks. As they drive, they see a car with a “just married” sign painted on it.

They stop at a gas station. In the store, Julio drinks milk straight from the carton and puts it back. McCartney and the young blonde woman walk into the store for snacks. He drives off, leaving his friend, who put gas into the truck, at the station.

Julio later drives. A friend throws popcorn into McCartney’s mouth. McCartney climbs into the backseat. Luisa asks to stop at a garage sale. McCartney watches her as she  haggles with the older lady over a figurine. Luisa dances in the car and McCartney wears her hat.

The car begins to smoke. After parking on the shoulder, a friend opens the hood and tries to find the issue.

At an abandoned pool, Luisa takes off her shirt. McCartney turns his head and watches. He takes off his shirt and both jump into the pool. He dives under the leaves and walks towards to kiss her. Julio, from the fence, tells them to come on.

Their friends sleep in the car. Luisa writes in her notebook and glances at Tenoch throughout the drive. A man hauls their stalled truck to the beach. Tenoch and Luisa stand together, taking in the view.

Rating: 0/5

In the retelling of Alfonso Cuarón’s 2001 film, Y Tu Mamá También, Luisa is a free spirit who is invited on the road trip by Tenoch. Tenoch has nursed a crush on her for several years. On a whim, he asked her to join him and his friends after she mentioned a mythical beach.

He and Luisa flirt in the car as she writes her poems and journals about the trip. They sneak off during bathroom breaks and exchange secret glances. He tries to ward off the attention of the young blond woman who clings to him. Luisa rolls her eyes at Julio’s attempts to prevent their romance.

Several missed turns later, adding an extra hour to the trip, Luisa and Tenoch walk out of the car together, open about their relationship.

The original plot of the film is whittled down to a teen romance with the obligatory love triangle. Tenoch and Julio’s competitive friendship is nonexistent. Tenoch senses Julio’s interest in Luisa and tries to leave him behind at the gas station. Meanwhile, Julio is the comic relief, a shallow guy who can’t even name a writer.

Given how little interaction Julio and Luisa have, Tenoch’s unwarranted power move is for his own benefit, to prove he is the alpha male. Julio, though, has some envy of his friend who seems to get whatever he wants.

Luisa, though, in the film, was a catalyst for Tenoch and Julio’s unresolved homoerotic tension. The two men realize they love one another and are unwilling to deal with their feelings.  Here, she is the unattainable manic dream pixie girl that softens a macho Tenoch. Her nurturing and intuitive nature dissolved into a hormonal young woman’s body who loves the popular jock from afar, breaking out of her isolated art world.

Director: Marc Webb Year: 2004

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