MOVIE REVIEW: LOVE THE WAY Ü LIE (RC delos Reyes, 2020)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

Ganito talaga ang klase ng pelikula na dapat pinapanood sa panahon ng pandemic. Yung magpapa-realize sa iyo na napakaikli ng buhay para sayangin sa panonood ng pelikula ni Xian Lim na walang kalatoy-latoy umarte.

Muntik ko na nga hindi tapusin ang pelikula kasi nangangalahati pa lang sobrang naiirita na ako. Si Xian paulit-ulit ang bintang na stalker si Alex Gonzaga (na psychic kaya laging naka-gypsy-gyspsyhan outfit) pero more hatak naman lagi para magpatulong. Yung jowa niya na si Kylie Versoza “died of a car accident” daw pero nabangga ng jeep. Si Alex lang dapat nakakarinig sa multo na si Kylie pero more sigaw ang ibang mga tao tuwing nagsasalita siya.

May eksenang humakbang ang secretary ni Xian sa cable wire offscreen. Tapos normal naman magsalita si Alex pero tinanong sya ni Xian “how it works exactly” at kung sinasapian ba sya ni Kylie. Ha? Hindi naman siya nagboses Sto. Niño diba? Basta nakakairita lahat parang yung umlaut lang sa title. Hindi pa bagay sina Alex at Xian kaya ang apt lang nung Honey, Nasa Langit na Ba Ako? reference with the love team of Regine Velasquez and Janno Gibbs.

Ang daming quirky sound effects at animated doodles at bubbles na mapapaisip ka kung biglang lalabas ang paborito mong K-drama actor. Pero mukhang hindi lang yun ang obvious influence. Hindi ko nga alam kung may pinaglumaang DVD ng Ghost sa Viva office na pilit nilang pinapanood sa mga creatives nila kaya iba’t ibang variations lang nito ang ginagawa nila recently (perfect itong companion piece ng Hindi Tayo Puwede, lalo na sa basurahan). May isang scene pa na garapalang ginaya (ay, homage pala) sa Notting Hill na akala ko madudulas si Xian habang umaakyat ng gate at mapapasigaw ng Filipino equivalent ng “Whoopsie daisy” na “Ay kabayo!!”.

Kung naghahanap kayo ng nakakatawa, fast forward n’yo na lang sa end credits tapos pakinggan n’yo ang nakakarimarim na duet nila ng “Sasakyan Kita” kung saan parang na-impacho kumanta si Xian. Enjoy!!

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

MOVIE REVIEW: MY CANDIDATE (Quark Henares, 2016)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on My Candidate:

1. This would have made an effective Perception vs. Reality meme, a political rom-com that perceived itself to be incredibly hilarious but in reality barely mustered any laughs from its duped audience. Its strained humor was corny to say the least and lost all the welcome whimsy that director Quark Henares effortlessly displayed in Keka. If it got one thing right, it was that the local elections (and all the surrounding hoopla, cringe-worthy campaign ads and all) were a joke.

2. Shaina Magdayao played Billie Pono, a life coach slash communications expert slash public relations adviser that I would never hire if ever I went crazy and decided to run for public office. Think of her as a hip, younger, less-fashionable Olivia Pope meets a clueless Sandra Bullock in Our Brand Is Crisis.

Her idea of feminism was wearing a peek-a-boo black bra under a sheer top while teaching other women how to be prim and proper and land a decent job (sorry, I forgot to mention that this feminist also helped a horndog celebrity prepare his speech after cheating with a married woman, then promptly lied about it when she said “Trabaho ko na palabasin ang tunay na pagkatao ng kliyente ko”). She also had the audacity to call out other women that dressed like pampams to work. She never once dressed professionally (she’s hip remember?) while working for Congressman Sonny Suarez (Derek Ramsay), but would be the first to discuss the importance of styling to look respectable and gain people’s trust.

3. The list didn’t end there, though. Said Congressman was running for a Senate seat so Billie invited him in a noisy public bar to have a private discussion, got him wasted until he sang Teeth’s Laklak on stage, prepped his staff through a hiphop explosion technique and by rapping Legit Misfitz’s Jabongga…wait, shouldn’t she be a coach on The Voice instead?

4. The role of Billie could have been saved by a genuine comedian, but Shaina just wasn’t the best person for it. I adored her in Four Sisters and a Wedding where everything just felt more natural.

On a different note, I noticed that she had really nice hands, the type that never did laundry her whole life. Also, I immediately knew I was going straight to hell because the very first thing that popped in my head when she appeared onscreen was the thought of her killer kepslock.

5. Some of the lines here almost triggered my epileptic seizures:

• Congressman grieving his father’s death: “Siguro naman gets ng mga tao bakit malungkot ako.” (I guess, but di ko gets why you used gets.)

• Congressman on initially meeting Billie: “Babae ka pala? Akala ko ba Billy?” (2016 na po Congressman.)

Of course, that prompted Billie to dish out the age-old explanation: “Ang tatay ko kasi matagal na gusto magkaanak ng lalaki blah blah blah…”

• Congressman’s staff on his ex: “Para siyang tulo na ngumangatngat sa ano mo.” (What?! No matter how much I disliked my ex, the worst I would call the person would be a heartburn. Disclaimer: I don’t hate any of my exes. I love them all. In a friendly ex way, of course.)

• Opponent Congressman Vera Sanchez (Iza Calzado who brought so much class on such a thankless role) on poaching Billie: “I’m hiring you because you effectively turned his campaign around” and then a minute later said “Now is the best time to switch kasi bumababa na ang numbers niya”. (Huh? If his numbers were dropping, didn’t that make Billie a failure?)

6. Congressman Suarez had three people in his campaign staff and all of them were crazy (including an incredibly annoying and screechy chief of staff played by Nico Antonio; Tolayts, what happened?). He didn’t seem to belong in any political party. He gave out boxes of Century Tuna as relief goods. His favorite song was Mambobola (ooh, ZsaZsing fan!). I bet the audience was really rooting for him to win.

7. Thank God for Ricci Chan channeling Bretman Rock. I laughed out loud every time he showed up. Ditto for Ketchup Eusebio as the filthy roommate with a gigantic member (obviously inspired by Rhys Ifans’ Spike in Notting Hill).

8. Wait, weren’t there twelve slots in the Senate race? Why were these two battling it out like it was the Presidential post? Rappler even had a debate with just the two of them and Ces Drilon had a special election count covering the tight race for the number 12 slot per region. I actually wished there was a tie so they could have settled it with a coin toss. Now that would have been as funny as Derek with a handful of hair.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆