Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Jun Lana's "Bakit Lahat ng Gwapo May Boyfriend?!" - Hope Springs Eternal

What is it about straight women and their affinity with gay men? If you think about it, the idea is counterintuitive. But there are sensible explanations. In such friendly relationships, there is no competition. They don't vie for the same "mate" so the issue of trust is embraced rather early into the relationship. From there, it is easy to cultivate cooperation and genuine kinship.

In Jun Lana's "Bakit Lahat ng Gwapo May Boyfriend?!" wedding planner Kylie (Anne Curtis) is a proverbial gay magnet - and she's indignant. She's been bamboozled many times over by handsome and seemingly masculine men who turn out to be gay. When she meets Diego, another "perfect specimen", there are red flags waving around. To make matters worse, she's helplessly attracted to the sensitive lad. Oh no! Experience has taught her a lesson or two. But is gorgeous Diego similar to her exes? There are tell-tale signs: he's a neat freak, organized; he's a gym rat with perfect masculine posturing from biceps down to the gluteus muscles. He shrieks louder while watching a scary movie. And didn't you notice that pinky jutting out when he holds a cup? What's a girl to do?

Who shouts the louder Darna?!
Kylie takes us on a roller coaster ride, intermittently breaking the fourth wall, to prove her theory. She is assisting Diego who's getting hitched in two months time with a gorgeous vixen (Yam Concepcion) who's more caught up with her blossoming career in Germany than her upcoming wedding. If her hunch is right, Benj (Paolo Ballesteros), Kylie's boss and Diego's childhood friend, will be conveniently waiting in the wings. There are too many odds to overcome for Kylie to be hopeful. But why does she get confusing signals from Diego? Is there mutual attraction between them? One drunken night, Kylie's patience runneth over.

Jun Lana's latest mainstream vehicle is immensely entertaining and surprisingly well made. The story is structured like any romcom formula, but it briskly engages its audience without too much plot contrivances. It's in fact a simple tale to tell. So we scrutinize the machinations of the director. Lana's works can be categorized into two: those masterful indies - and the middle-of-the-road mediocre mainstream flicks. The difference between the two types is conspicuous that I tend to wonder if Lana's mainstream efforts are heavily influenced, i.e. weighed down by the studio system.

Consider the following. Type 1: "Bwakaw", "Mga Kwentong Barbero", "Anino sa Likod ng Buwan", "Roxxxanne". Type 2: "The Prenup", "Yesterday Today Tomorrow", "My Neighbor's Wife". His indies will easily land in any cineaste's best list. "Bwakaw", for example, is one of my all-time favorites. However, his mainstream movies are messy and cliched (think Jose Javier Reyes) with difficulties in reconciling decent story telling and good film making. "Bakit Lahat ng Gwapo..." changes this. The movie is fun and well tempered. More importantly, the narrative flow is fueled by a coherent script and the winking humor from its delightful cast.

Though Dennis Trillo is more than proficient as the perfect male girls and gays swoon over, this cinematic vehicle belongs to Anne Curtis who moderates her performance with pedantic relish. And why not? - she's been gypped so many times, she has walked the path that others could only talk about. Curtis exudes charisma and confidence, but she cautiously calibrates this with acrid reservation. She may not declare it succinctly, but she is still hopeful for circumstances "swinging" her way. I can relate somehow. My best friend Kyle is a dreamboat. Sometimes, we already know the answer to our questions, but hope still springs eternal.

Dennis Trillo

Anne Curtis (Courtesy of Rogue Magazine)

#bakitlahatnggwapomayboyfriend  #annecurtis


Bb. Melanie said...

Na-miss ko naman mga movie reviews mo :)

Cathy Pena said...

Aww, thank you, dear Ms.M. So sweet. I missed writing too. :)