14 January 2014

Girl, Boy, Baklâ, Tomboy: Crap Story but Vice was Sensational

So yes, this has the makings of an epilogue because most everyone has seen the movie and this piece is of no use whatsoever as a review. And that’s the whole point; now that the movie has grossed over 400M, I did not want to be the one who missed out.

As Vice himself has repeatedly said, this is not a cerebral film and I totally agree. The storyline has as many holes as a fisherman’s net so that one gets the feeling that it was stitched together around a collection of punchlines instead of the other way around.

That said, the punchlines were good! I do not remember having watched a movie and totally forgave the idiocy of the plot.

For one, identical quadruplets of different genders are not biologically possible. For another, an entire liver is transplanted from the donor sibling to the recipient, which will naturally kill the donor in real life.


Hollywood movies, when they make trailers, pinch out the juicy bits and stitch them together without giving away the context in which these bits appear in the actual movies. Filipino producers, I am sorry to say, still have to learn how to do this.
There are too many other holes to enumerate in one article; and who would have guessed that San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge will one day find itself superimposed on a lake scene with Taal Volcano in the background.

But these are all beside the point.

The real point is that here is a movie that has no pretensions about artistic value but scores high in the enjoyment category. It will take a totally humourless person – or a dead one – to have come out of the movie house without a smile still etched on his face.

This is, but of course, a Vice Ganda movie – and nobody else could have pulled it off the way he did.

There have been comparisons between the way Vice Ganda portrays the four siblings in this movie and the way Eugene Domingo portrays twins in the Kimmy Dora series. Vice Ganda, they say, does not differentiate the characters with the same skill as Domingo does her Kimmy and Dora roles.

I totally agree; but then again, the argument is beside the point.

Vice Ganda, perhaps, is not skilful enough as a character actor to convincingly portray the distinct personalities and idiosyncrasies of each sibling. He tries, but the four characters merely turn out to be just Vice Ganda in different costumes.

However, Vice Ganda is not a Joel Torre or a Nora Aunor. He is first and foremost a comedian; and in this regard in the movie Girl, Boy Baklâ, Tomboy, he was simply sensational!

Writers labour over punchlines; but it is ultimately up to the comedian whether they end up drawing laughs at all. Comedy, to a large extent, is about timing. In this movie, Vice’s was exceptional.

Timing is, arguably, Vice Ganda’s most potent tool as a comedian; because unlike – say – Dolphy, he is not really blessed with a funny face. In the movie, he couples this to great effect with the hilarious enunciation of the supposedly American-raised Girlie.

The American accent, without a doubt, is too phoney to be anywhere near authentic. Even then, that is what makes it even funnier.

The only thing that really detracted from my enjoyment of the movie was that the best punchlines were already in the trailers that have been shown over and over on primetime television.

Hollywood movies, when they make trailers, pinch out the juicy bits and stitch them together without giving away the context in which these bits appear in the actual movies. Filipino producers, I am sorry to say, still have to learn how to do this.

What would have been the biggest guffaw-drawers in Girl, Boy, Baklâ, Tomboy fail to draw the deserved laughter because they had all been heard before.

I frequently judge a movie in how much it makes me think, because I find enjoyment in the thinking. Girl, Boy, Baklâ, Tomboy is not a thinking movie, but it delivers something that I also enjoy so much more than thinking.

Laughing, what else?

Acknowledgment: Photos from Girl, Boy, Bakla, Tomboy trailer on YouTube.

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