Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I Luv Dreamguyz



It's been a while since our movies tackled the Filipino performer's dream to fly to Japan. If I Love Dreamguyz is to be believed, Japan is once again a viable career destination for handsome young dancers. As an update, not one person in the movie ponders the possibility of prostitution or illegal recruitment (you know, those very 90's concerns). Not once do the guys even rehearse with their shirts off. It's all wholesome-legit, except for a shady networking scam thrown into the plot, again to keep it modern, although it doesn't really tie up.

Just about everything else in the movie feels like regurgitated bullshit, down to the racial stereotypes and butchered Nihongo. It's not a pop musical. The two dance numbers are edited to indistinction, and what's left to see makes us disbelieve they're actual dancers in a troupe. It's not quite a barkada youth flick, although a beach vacation portion in the middle has the whole gang strip to their butts and run to the sea. In the hands of Director Joel Lamangan, from a story by Manny Valera and screenplay by Enrique Ramos (the same team that made DMV's two previous films, Walang Kawala and Heavenly Touch), Dreamguyz is a soap opera of the stupidest kind.

I realize the key to Lamangan's continuous popularity as a director is that he strips his movies of any potential complexity. That means despite different life stories for five different dancers, they behave in exactly the same way all the time, so that we may clearly see the simple path the movie takes: dreamers' optimism crashing down to hard reality. When the guys hear their names called for the final casting, they cheer and giggle in the same note. Then they're angry. Then troubled. Talk about group unity. In scenes, they're lumped together like one boring mass. Lamangan again directs with eyes closed. His films are plotty by necessity, because they burrow through to the end, even when the brain objects. It's schematic, not cinematic.

Too bad, because the guys make great eye candies. Marco Morales, the reliable frontal nudity actor, is on board, but the sexiest role goes to Jay L Dizon, a guy whose heart swings between his girlfriend and guy rival-turned-pal (Morales). We see him make love to both. He even flaunts a brief bulge in a phone sex conversation. Jao Mapa, straining into a tiresome high pitch as a gay manager, makes love with Sherwin Ordonez, as his lover. Survivor alum Rob Sy pops up conveniently but illogically as a thug nuisance. There's a threesome between Mhyco Antonio and his two women. Miggy Chavez rounds up the group as an abused teen. With these stories, the movie really should have been more colorful and nuanced. The shiniest performance belongs to a woman. As the conflicted girlfriend, Nina Jose defies the drabness to create someone who actually feels human. Let's give these beautiful people a better movie please.

GRADE: C

Related Links:
Trailer
Articles and Photos: Jay L Dizon, Miggy Valdez
News: "Miggy Valdez Gets Meaty Role in First Movie"

5 comments:

Songs Of Lasher said...

Sayang. Gusto ko pa namang manood nito. Thought maganda. Hmmm...

Momel said...

Hey, I also do reviews, but I do horror movies. So there's the common denominator. Anyway, how do you do your reviews? Do you takes notes as the movie goes along? Do you hit the pause button to write down a useful observation? Or do you just remember stuff?

There is a lot of substantial content to be had here, so I'm looking forward to a tip or two.

I recently purchased a copy of that local film Kalakal. And this is what I can say: Melissa Mendez, whatever happened to you?

The Bakla Review said...

@songs of lasher:
hey, don't let one negative review dissuade you. reviews are meant to inspire discussion, so see it if you can and tell me what you think. it's on its second week run.

@momel:
you don't need tips from me. your reviews are wonderful.

no, i don't do notes while watching. the first viewing is to be enjoyed as a regular moviegoer. it must be a movie experience first, not a case study. writing comes later. i see it a second time if i have to.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the review.

Nina shines in this film. Really. Her luminous eyes illuminate this film. Her boyfriend, Jay, is the second person to watch out. Hope he does more films. He has potential. And those lips, wonderful. Lamangan has once again let me down. Nagmamadali na naman.

The sex scene between Jay and Marco is good enough, almost tender to the viewers.

The story has holes and was directed carelessly. For Marco to be the choreographer when he couldn't actually dance was a let down.

that's 2 good points for the film.

Charlie Koon said...

tbr, i sometimes write while watching.. mostly for the character names. hihi..

just a note...