MOVIE REVIEW: SO IT’S YOU (Jun Lana, 2014)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on So It’s You:

1. Was this movie shot in high-definition? The camera was so unforgiving to JC de Vera.

2. Since when was Fernbrook located in Ayala Alabang Village?

3. I think the lead character’s family was supposed to be nouveau riche with their gaudy clothes and furniture. One family’s expensive was another man’s tacky.

4. I wasn’t sure how Carla Abellana’s character ended up as product specialist (or as the character said, “med rep”). Shouldn’t she be running her family’s business and leave all the hard work to us middle class people? Besides, with those excessive accessories, bejeweled iPad, and leopard print clothes, who’d even take her seriously?

5. The movie tried too hard to be current with all of its technological and social media references. It was the first time for me to hear the phrase “Peksman walang delete” and it made me love the icky “Boom panes” more. (Although I think one character mentioned, “May nagtweet sa IG” and I wasn’t even sure how that worked.)

6. The family’s shoe business reminded me of my favorite sapatero, Ms. Laida Magtalas, of course.

7. How could a supposedly rich girl who loved branded items and drove a car covered with the Louis Vuitton logo not even know Manolo Blahnik? It was a good thing she was schooled by her gay BFF (of course!).

8. Kevin Santos and Paolo Ballesteros were the reasons to watch this mess. The former especially was so into his character that I wished he just had a movie of his own. Amparo Munoz would be proud of him.

9. Warning: Don’t use your cellphone while driving. Especially if it’s chunky and as big as a tablet. Wait, maybe it was an actual tablet.

10. I could do a mean impression of Tom Rodriguez. Seriously. With this and Bekimon, I think I’ve mastered his expressions.

11. To be fair, I really liked the scene where Carla imagined how her dream wedding would have been. It was funny but heartbreaking. Now if only the movie had more of that and less of the Instagram selfies.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published May 11, 2014.)

MOVIE REVIEW: THE ESCORT (Enzo Williams, 2016)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on The Escort:

1. In Ikaw Lang ang Mamahalin, Gelli de Belen played a household help who owned a magical wardrobe full of expensive bikinis. She wore a different pair in every scene of the montage (set to the theme song, of course) with her making tampisaw under a raging waterfall or lying down the sandy beaches of Camiguin. She must have been employed in Ayala Alabang to be able to afford such a collection.

I wondered about the same thing here with Yassi (Lovi Poe), who wore the most fabulous outfits while working as a part-time waitress turned receptionist. Sure, there was mention that she would get paid handsomely for the desk job, but the upkeep was still very questionable (besides she was already wearing nice clothes prior to the makeover). The controversial bespoke white gown alone (read FashionPulis and get updated) must have cost her a fortune. Seriously, where should I send my resumé?

2. As someone completely fascinated with the dealings in Cafe Havana, my curiosity was piqued by the promise of an inside look at the escort service industry. Do rich men really pay to have an escort girlfriend in lavish private functions? How are they different from prostitutes? Since Yassi handled most of the girls’ bookings, does that make her their pimp? With the girls providing extra service, is the business even legal? Sadly, it didn’t really care much about these questions.

3. The movie’s justification for prostitution? “Lahat tayo nagbebenta ng parte ng katawan natin for a living.” Xyruz (Derek Ramsay) then provided examples, like how a doctor would use his brain to perform a surgery, or a painter would utilize his hands to create a masterpiece, or whatever crap he invented to get Yassi to sleep with him.

Jusko naman Xyruz, ganyan na ang spelling ng pangalan mo, ganyan pa ang logic mo! Aba, parang kahit magbenta ako ng kidney ko eh iba pa rin yun sa pagbebenta ng laman. What happened to just using a lame old pick-up line?

4. In Ex with Benefits, Coleen Garcia’s character slept with a dirty old dean so that Derek could take his revalida and graduate from college. In this one, Lovi agreed to sleep with a dirty old man (Christopher de Leon, in full ’00s Christopher de Leon mode) to cover Derek’s medical expenses. Why do these girls do the craziest things for him? Gaano ba talaga kalaki yan, Derek?

5. Tanduay product placement within the first two minutes of the movie. Also, every scene had an establishing shot with the sponsors’ names. One resort had its own montage that included drone shots of the place. Was this a world record in cinema shamelessness?

6. I was happy to see Dimples Romana as one of the escorts, giving hope to other plus-size women dreaming of becoming high-class hookers. She provided the much-needed comic relief, even if some of the jokes were just too weird. In one scene, she was served a birthday (Kink?) cake with boobs on top to which she said, “Blow ko na ba ‘to? Ang liit naman.” Huh?

One rape joke even bordered on being despicable (a girl found it funny that her father raped her after he learned the nature of her work). We’re supposed to laugh? Eww.

7. The escort service’s name was Luxe and a character described the business as “Bayad. Booking. Deal” which really reminded me of OLX (formerly Sulit.com).

8. This was reminiscent of the glossy, cheesy, sexy filth that pervaded in the late ’90s and required a good shower after viewing. There really wasn’t anything original here. Heck, even the villains wore black sando like bouncers.

9. This will most likely be remembered as the movie where a woman was so disgusted with herself for being so impure after losing her virginity that she actually uttered the lines, “Di na ako malinis. Di na ako karapat-dapat mahalin.” Hala bes, 2016 na ganyan ka pa mag-isip!

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆