The TLA Releasing DVD of the 2018 film "Cola de Mono" likely wins the award for the most unusual and dark Christmas film ever. It combines the sexual awakening of teen boy Borja with heavy family drama and a very sad aspect of gay life.
The titular cocktail plays a major role regarding the central holiday celebration gone out of bounds in which secrets and repressed emotions come out. A few occasions on which text across the screen provides exposition includes a recipe for this beverage.
Our story begins on a relatively happy note on Christmas Eve 1986; Hyperactive cinephile Borja is driving both mother Irene and slightly older brother Vicente crazy. One family issue is that Vicente is the golden boy, and both Mom and Bro are frustrated that Borja is so immature.
This family moves onto a holiday feast at which Borja becomes a bigger nuisance in proportion to the number of Cola de Mundos that he consumes. This bratty behavior includes teasing Vicente about plans to go out to meet a "friend."
The family then goes their separate ways as Ireme passes out, closeted Vicente goes to a woodsy gay cruising area, and our excitable boy continues drinking and getting restless.
Borja shows that he hates closed doors more than cats by breaking into the room of Vicente. Surprising himself regarding his response to the porn that he finds makes him aware that he and his brother are more alike than he believed.
Vicente coming back from a negative cruising experience and finding his brother both spent and red-handed leads to one form of sibling drama that leads to additional bonding. Things then taking a very dark turn provides more proof that "Cola" is not a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie.
The movie breaks with tradition by ending with a scene several years after the depicted events, rather than by beginning with those events and flashing back to the aforementioned celebration.
These scenes mostly are of the primary '90s venue for anonymous gay sex. They also show that things have come a long way since the '80s,
We then move to a scene that provides a few forms of closure regarding arguably the most memorable Christmas in the history of the family.
Aside from offering a compelling story, all this adds depth in the form of comments on the "nature v. nurture" debate regarding homosexuality and shows that history repeats itself.