Thursday, June 7, 2012

Boy Pick-Up The Movie - Verve and Extended Silliness

Boy Pick-Up (Ogie Alcasid) has got his “rock and roll” in place. This allows him to lord it over during the Pick-up Competition (a street-wise freestyle modern Balagtasan, if you will) where he remains undefeated. This ballsy strut allows him to survive in his own little world where he struggles with unemployment, neighborhood skirmishes, unpaid rent, and the lascivious transvestite landlord Sharona (Diego) eternally seducing him. Things perk up for the beloved protagonist when he unwittingly fills up an urgently vacated position at a newly opened Heaven’s Bakeshop – James (Victor Aliwalas), the pastry chef, was caught by his betrothed and shop owner Angel (Solenn Heussaff) in syrupy flirtation with one of the girls. With James’ departure, Boy is asked to demonstrate his specialty: the fish cake (a P20 besugo decocted with flour and a yellow polka dot bikini – huh?) Soon, every customer in the bakery is salivating for the heady, slavering aroma of the delicacy. With heavy demand queuing in the shop, disaster is averted. Boy gets hired as the shop’s popular new pastry chef – to the consternation of shop assistants Mayumi and Bogart (Survivor castaways Maey Bautista and Albert Sumaya). Moreover, Angel is irresistibly drawn to the nonchalant charm of her new employee.

Unknown to Boy, storm is brewing elsewhere. Boy Pick-up’s popularity has spawned a heart break. When Gabs’ bride (Sarah Labahti) embarrassingly drops him during her wedding march, the groom is fraught with desperation. He finds himself saved from suicide and imminent death (he almost drowned) by a mysterious character who transforms him into a goth toughie (six facial piercings, dark lipstick, dyed hair and the penetrating look of an avenging resurrection), vowing retribution for his lost love. Gabs metamorphoses to the menacing Bagwis (Dennis Trillo).

While Boy and Angel bask in their mutual fondness, Bagwis stalks the duo with menacing fervor. He must take Boy Pick-up down, but how? By taking what’s most important to him: Angel, his job, his pet fish Goldie and his championship. And at the next round, Bagwis takes all these with an easy swipe. Boy loses everything. What’s a local hero to do? With the help of Boy Back-up (Eri Neeman), Boy enlists the help of the “Master” (Joey “Pepe” Smith) to regain his “rock and roll”.  

The birth of Bagwis: from heart break to attitude.

Sharona looks like a wigged Bituin Escalante. Here, he shouts: "I don't need money! I have money!"

Ogie Alcasid and writer Aloy Adlawan pick a rambunctious segment from a popular television gag show and expound it into a cinematic piece. After all, this has a huge, albeit loyal following (netizens take the world wide web to show their appreciation through various fan pages). People who are not familiar with the characters will nonetheless find something pleasant with the film because the performances are perniciously enthusiastic, you can’t help but embrace the zaniness therein. However, there's a limit to embracing absurdity and this will eventually catch up if left protracted. After all, even humor has to have logical strain to be truly intelligible or coherent. Flights of fancy have short windows of expiration - and when inadvertently amplified, even the diverting portions will get dragged down. Like this one.

Ogie Alcasid embraces Boy Pick-up with such encompassing amplitude, you sometimes forget how silly the situations he gets himself in. Surely, there are moments of character inconsistencies: Boy Pick-up starts with a pucker, a protruding pout and a delivery akin to a slowed down record. Midway into the film, he forgets these and delivers his lines a la Ogie Alcasid. It's the element of invariability that makes the mark of an unforgettable filmic hero. 

Solenn Heussaff shines anew in another out-of-the-box portrayal as shop owner Angel. Though not part of the Bubble Gang posse, Heussaff's inclusion lends the story a sense of groundedness; that indeed this isn't all insanity, providing adequate leverage for the situational drama that the movie requires. Her performance is succinct, adorable (read: hindi maarte) and vanity-free, you know exactly why Heussaff is gradually turning out to be one of the country's best new talents! Her chemistry with Alcasid is so palpable that we had to laugh when she pours her sadness over bagoong and green mango ("May bagoong pala ang kamay ko" - then she bawls like a baby). I have never had so much fun watching something nonsensical. It's not such a wonder then why Sam Pinto - whose beloved Neneng B. character is such a household name - is relegated to "extra" duties in the film. She appears only during competitions, regaling the championship stage with her utter beauty - and nothing else! Knowing what I know about Pinto's thespic capability, she would have brought disaster to an already logic-challenged piece.   

Director Dominic Zapata peppers his movie with a dazzling array of cameos (Boy Abunda, Dr. Vicky Belo, Jackie Rice, Ian Batherson, Antonio Aquitania, Lilia Cuntapay as Boy Pick-up's mother,Gabby Eigenmann, Director Joey Reyes, Bong Revilla, Michael V, and myopically gathers some of the most absurd jokes I've ever had to encounter. In fact, some of them don't even have punchlines to speak of, it's ridiculous. Here are a few:

 Boy Pick-up: "I put the win... in penguin." (He has a toy penguin that blows bubbles on his dresser.)


Boy Back-up: "Ano po ba ang gamot sa depression?"
Brod Pete: Ayon sa kasulatan, heto ang gamot: (sings) 'Mister DJ, can I make a request...' Pero instead na mister, ito ay "master" (alluding to masturbation)

Bong Revilla: May ibibigay akong "bong" para sa iyo?
Neneng B. (Sam Pinto): "Ano?"
Bong Revilla: "Ibibigay ko ang 'bong' puso ko."

Boy Pick-up: "Bakit bilog ang buwan, ang zero, ang aquarium...?"
Angel: "Bakit?"
Boy Pick-up: Kasi ikaw ang isda sa puso ko." (Didn't I say silly?)

Person 1: "Sana ikaw na ang Y."
Person 2: "Bakit?"
Person 1: "Kasi ikaw na ang kasunod sa ex ko."


Person 1: "Kape ka ba?"
Person 2: "Bakit?"
Person 1: "Kasi gusto kitang ma-kape-ling!"


Angel: "Bakit duck yan?" (Referring to Boy's umbrella handle.)
Boy: "Kasi pan-duck!" (pandak)

Moymoy: Mangga ko is 'awesome'.
Boy: "Ma ah-sim!" (asim)
Moymoy: "Awe-some"


Boy: "Bakit problema ko parang kuting?"
Angel: "Bakit?"
Boy: "Meow!" (Huh?)


Boy: "Angel, taxi ka ba?"
Angel: "Bakit?"
Boy: "...dumating sa buhay ko." (Really now!)


Bagwis: "Sirena ka ba?"
Angel: "No!"   (And the joke is...?)

As you see, some of the lines here verge on the esoteric so it's set up like a hit and miss predisposition. But most of them rely on the boundless enthusiasm of its peppy cast who shows what camaraderie does to even the lamest jokes. There is much to do with the evolution of Dennis Trillo's "Gabs" who turns into the certifiably menacing "Bagwis", but what promised to be a full throttle showdown ends up into a mediocre finish coupled with a fast resolution (Labahti embraces Trillo after losing to Boy Pick-up at the rematch) that didn't deserve the "creation" of Bagwis. It's a case of much ado over nothing. If anything, this movie shows Trillo's versatility. In fact, he does a mean "pick-up" spiel; and puts a believable streetwise swagger.

"Boy Pick-Up The Movie" runs like a protracted gag show - but it really is one. Its humor is patchy, but the performances more than make up for the unevenness of the material. When actors are as exuberant as these lot, you tend to forget that there really is nothing much in the cinematic paraphernalia but a bunch of fake peso bills.

Certifiably sinister

Bubbles Gang posse

Sarah Lahbati finds Gabs again.

Boy Pick-up and Angel reunite.

The "Master" espouses rock and roll.

4 comments: said...

I hated it so much I think it's worse than Moron 5. At one point, pinatay yung isang Moymoy Palaboy and we're supposed to laugh that he died? How tasteless.

Cathy Pena said...

I understand what you're saying. People who value logic will see through the ebullient performances and hate the flick. It is a senseless fodder. I have to disagree though where "Moron 5" is concerned. That Deramas movie was absolute garbage for me.

watchpacquiaovsbradleyliveonline said...


GMA is cool because of BOY Pick up.

Bubble Gang.

Cathy Pena said...

@ Watchpacquiao:

Hip is cool! :)