Sunday, May 16, 2010

Here Comes the Bride


Angelica Panganiban outgays John Lapus and outshines Eugene Domingo for a couple of reasons, but primarily because she got the good roles. People were giggling all the time as she acted like a demure schoolgirl at the beginning of the movie, perhaps people have already identified strongly to the "babaeng-bakla" persona she has been flaunting lately. As a gay beautician trapped in a woman's body, she is sort of OA but saved by the notion that if it ever happened in real life, Lapus would be more or less acting the same way.

It has been mentioned before somewhere that this material would fare well as a theater piece. This is probably true given that this movie is an ensemble piece. The enjoyment derived from watching it greatly depends on the creativity of the actors in playing their roles and the rapport created among them. The plot is rather predictable. The bloopers at the end of the movie and the Photoshop-aided brief explanation of the connection among the five of them (after the end credits) sort of make up for the lack of a big plot twist.

Any comparison to Kimmy Dora is uncalled for because that movie is a one-woman show helmed by the outstanding Eugene Domingo. Here, she instead plays good support to her co-actors, particularly to Panganiban. But since the latter's portrayals arrest more attention, those of the former seem to just blend with the others. Nonetheless, a very good performance. She has this certain brand of charisma that is always maximized through a communal viewing experience, but disappears when you watch the same thing alone on DVD.

The movie is getting mixed reviews. Some people think that Panganiban is OA. Some say that Tuesday is underwhelming. My brother mentions that Jaime Fabregas should have done the gay role instead (cannot blame anyone, the old man is a very good actor) and my mother says that Angelica owned the movie. My only opinion about the cast is that everyone did a great job, except for Lapus. As a gay person there is no need to convince anyone that he is good. But as an old man trapped in a gay man's body, he is a bit inconsistent. Most of the time his enunciation is still gay. And for someone supposedly fluent in Español, one might wonder where the "Mi Amore" came from, not to mention the accent. He obviously just memorized the script.

The last statement could of course be dismissed as a personal nerdy rant, but I argue my case by focusing on Jaime Fabregas. He lets out those random Spanish tirades like a true blue Filipino mestizo while also believably channeling the mannerisms and speech pattern of a maid speaking Ilonggo. Tuesday also does this, smoothly transitioning to the persona of Domingo's character with all her spontaneous bouts of "legal speak" and verbal diarrhea. With Lapus, this fluid transition does not happen. It is obvious that he is acting, which makes him the weakest among the five.

There are two or three ROFL scenes. A personal favorite would be the hilarious result of the Lolo's (inside the beautician's body) drastic attempt to apply make-up on the maid of honor. It is a cheap joke alright but everyone was laughing hard. As for the crowd favorite, there seems to be a split between two Angelica scenes: the one where she is chased along the beach while shouting: "Pagamit! One time lang!!!" and the photo shoot scene. But the runaway winner would be the whole sequence where they try to redo the accident so they could switch back to their own bodies. Not everything comes out as planned, resulting in more funny body switching that further tests the versatility of the five actors.

Also cool to witness queues as long as those of Iron Man's and Robin Hood's in G4 on a weekend night. I guess it is safe to say that this would gross more than 50M. It is not a masterpiece, but it is one enjoyable movie. Word of mouth would probably translate to better box office returns, although one should not expect much since Iron Man is still here, and Shrek is coming next week.

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