Tuesday, January 13, 2009

One Night Only


Paolo Contis

Among the potpourri of characters in this multi-storied comedy are a gay beautician (Chocoleit) and his unrequited love (Joross Gamboa), and tonight, after previously providing for his needs, the inexperienced lad may finally concede to sleeping with the parlorista. They’re both familiar caricatures and they don’t exactly amount to more, but so is everybody else. The pompous actor. The philandering politician. The conservative provincial lass with an inner nymph. Part of why this sexy romp is so comfortable to watch is that everyone stays in their archetypal box, but with crackling dialogue and vivacious performances that make them seem fresh. It’s Abangan ang Susunod Na Kabanata minus the class politics. Every actor here looks like he’s having fun with his assigned chess piece. The joy for the viewer is in riding along with writer-director Jose Javier Reyes’ and editor Tara Illenberger’s smart zippy salad toss of simultaneous events (it happens in one night), and how everybody is marshalled unto a riotous convergence (in a motel).

You may find it a bit insulting that both the gay and the lesbian are pushy lovers itching to get laid while both their partners are pressured, looking like they’d rather be with someone else. Or that the only other gay character, played by Ogie Diaz, is a loud, angry tabloid rat whose mission is to destroy the life of the guy who beat him up. But then everything ends in such a lightweight blow-off that you almost accept the movie for the politically incorrect farce that it is. For better and worse, this night, though busy, doesn’t really feel life-changing. But it sure was fun.

Bonus, in case you want to know: Male cast members who show some skin include Paolo Contis as the horny muscular actor, Jon Avila as a yuppie player shuttling between two women, running around the premises in his undies, and Ricky Davao, in wifebeater and boxers, on a swing. Joross Gamboa never gets to remove his buttoned polo and necktie. Jason Colis as a loyal boyfriend remains in a barong tagalog. Manilyn Reynes, the token dyke, is attached to her backpack.

GRADE: B+

Related Links:
Official Movie Site
Photos From Premiere Night
At PEP's Coverage of the 34th Metro Manila Film Festival

1 comment:

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