Sunday, November 11, 2012

This Guy's in Love with U Mare!


Mike (Luis Manzano) breaks up with Lester (Vice Ganda), his gay benefactor of three years and proposes marriage to his girlfriend Gemma (Toni Gonzaga). Taking his brother-in-law's suggestion seriously, Lester pretends to be straight and orchestrates several planned encounters with Gemma so she would fall in love with him and consequently break up with Mike, in the hopes that the two of them could still get back together. Realizing that she is a good person  after all, Lester's conscience gets the better of him, but how is he to tell the truth without causing more heartaches along the way?

In the last three years, Vice Ganda has become a household name when it comes to box office movies, something impressive considering how he is relatively a newbie and how his projects are not really related to one another as part of the same franchise. Even so, it would be difficult to say that box office receipts equate to quality, and with Derramas directing what is really there to be expected other than the usual slapstick fare? It is exactly because of this that this film succeeds somehow. It is not really groundbreaking and the expectations are kind of low, but among Vice Ganda's three movies, this one has the advantage of having the stronger storyline, less gimmicks, and a more convincing portrayal of the role where we see more of him becoming the character rather than the character adjusting to him.

In terms of acting, a few moments of brilliance can be seen, and the good thing is that the heavy emotions are allowed to sink in without the signature Derramas move of ruining the moment with a bad attempt to insert something comic just to remind everyone that what they are watching is still a comedy. Vice Ganda has his own moment. Toni Gonzaga has her own moment. Even Luis Manzano. In terms of comedy, it is obviously Vice who carries the film thanks to his timing. Another improvement would be how less of his sarcastic shticks are involved here. While some people love them, one must admit that they are getting quite old. For this role, he relies more on body language and facial expression, which is could be considered as an improvement, coming from him.

The story is not something that has not been done before but would suffice to give the actors some space to play with the roles that they are given. Although the ‘homo-guy-pretending-to-be-straight’ storyline has just been used in Praybeyt Benjamin last year, here the break-up angle contributes a lot to make the plot more credible to actually make sense. It is something that is not far from happening in real life, and you could treat the movie as one funny anecdote relating to such. This is not to say, though, that the movie is very good, because it is not. Perhaps we are still light years away from seeing a new template when it comes to comedies like this one. Maybe Derramas should experiment on subtlety next time to substitute for flamboyance. An actor need not always be on hyper mode to be considered funny.

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