Friday, February 05, 2010

Paano Na Kaya

What Have We Done to Deserve This?
by Jessica Zafra

This is all Vivien’s fault. Let’s watch the Kim Chiu-Gerald Anderson movie, he says. Candy-colored poster with eye candy. Fine, we go to Glorietta for the 5.50 pm screening and it’s Full. All seats taken, people sitting on the aisles, I haven’t seen people sitting on the aisles at a movie screening since Titanic.

So Kim and Gerald play best friends since high school, Kim is a complete doormat for love, and Gerald has a few scenes in which he ruminates on life while standing in the shower. Yes, because the shower is the perfect place to ponder the big questions of life, particularly if you have those abs. Like the typical Star Cinema product no one has any real problems; what they really need is to have a strong cup of coffee and get over themselves. There are the stock characters: the friends offering analysis and advice on the relationship (except for Jon Avila who plays a flower vase), the overbearing parent, the ex. People keep saying, “This must be my karma for leaving you” or whatever, and Vivien and I had to say, “If our karma is to watch this movie, what exactly have we done?”

But when the movie ended there was applause anyway, because all the audience really wants is to see Kim being pretty and Gerald being handsome. Nothing they don’t already see on TV. For free. I expect it will be a huge hit.

The problem, I think, is that many studio-based writers have not seen enough of life first-hand; their experience is limited to “Does he love me?” and “My dad is always on my case”. Everything they know is of human behavior, they get from watching telenovelas. Telenovelas are not life, any more than television is cinema. For instance, a young woman who catches her boyfriend grappling with his ex is not going to make a long, tearful speech about how stupid she is; she will be too consumed by rage to say much more than !@#$%. You can’t write people unless you know people.


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