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.