Sunday, January 27, 2008

Green Paradise

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It's hard to believe reports that this movie was once planned for international release, or that it has a larger-than-average budget, or that the director was imported from China to do it, or that it managed to cast up-and-coming young actors who purportedly have serious careers in mind. The story -- will poor rural lass leave her poor rural boyfriend for the moneyed city boy? -- is old generic boldie junk, and so is the craft. It can easily be mistaken for any number of forgotten mid-90's cheapie.

But the sexy guys make it watchable. Torsos are on display in the way that movies set in beach resorts would deem normal. Andrew Schimmer is refreshingly non-model-like, frazzled around the edges like your neighbor blessed with good genes but isn't vain or responsible enough to forego the all-night parties and drinking that wear out his looks. Paolo Serrano and Justin De Leon, as the fratboyish buddies who are indistinguishable from one another, seem to have been cast only for their lovemaking scenes with separate women that have absolutely nothing to do with the story. Kris Martinez is the moreno fisherman, and just for his minor sweat-stained workshirt in one scene, he's my favorite among the goodlooking cast.

There's an important central theme to its old story, though. When City Boy discovers that Country Girl only loves him for the possibility that he can save her family from poverty, the movie posits that there is a thin line between utilitarian relationships and prostitution. He's a modern man who wrestles with his own principles on the kind of love he wants from a woman. Do we care? The movie is so poorly made, we only care about when he'll stop flexing his muscles to flash his butt.

The DVD has no extra features.

GRADE: C+

Related Links:
Andrew Schimmer Talks About the Film
Andrew Schimmer Talks About Indecent Proposals From Rich Gays
Pinoy Director Axed By Chinese Producers
Catholic Review Says Film Has "Disturbing Morals"

1 comment:

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