One of the films that I was able to watch this Metro Manila Film Festival was the comedy film Girl, Boy, Bakla, Tomboy (GBBT) which stars Vice Ganda in four different roles, Maricel Soriano, Joy Viado, Kiray Celis, Xyriel Manabat, Rhed Bustamante and JM Ibanez. Those are the only names you’d probably need to know because they are the only people who brought life into this shallow movie. This may contain spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the film, don’t bother reading.
Let’s cut directly to the chase. GBBT is a film that can make the masses laugh. We can universally say that Vice Ganda is the best when it comes to delivering punchlines because he makes it seem spontaneous, and all of it sounds so witty. Further, his gesticulations, antics, facial expressions and all other body languages make him even more comedic. He plays the four roles really well, and is especially hilarious in his role as the Girl and the Gay (both of which he seem to be natural at playing). The comedy really strikes a chord and is definitely the kind of humor most Filipinos enjoy.
Joy Viado has to be applauded in this film. Though she has relatively little screen time, but each scene she has is definitely funny, and it kinda makes me wish that she had a lot more scenes. Xyriel delivered her lines excellently, as usual. Kiray was, again, being Kiray. Kiray is a natural at comedy. That’s not just because of her face, but because she plays her role so well, and you could even mistake her as a 12 year-old kid. JM Ibanez is a rising star who’s definitely irresistible and adorably cute that could make the audience go “awwww.” So does Rhed Bustamante. Maricel Soriano is a natural at the dramatic scenes, and her slaps are clearly painful that the sound of it was enough to make the audience shriek. She had the ability to switch the comedy in a dramatic scene. She was warm and great especially at the scene where she reminisced about her first meetup with Joey. A great neutralizer albeit short and sweet. Cristine Reyes, Ejay Falcon and JC De Vera are hot. They serve their purpose well.
If you want to see a film filled with so much depth, then I suggest you stay away from this film. This film dwells more on the comedy than on the actual story itself. To be honest, the plot wasn’t laid out enough to cover the various storyline developments that each of the characters had. It’s all a mix-up of nothing. The film presented us Vice Ganda (Panying)’s anemia, a JC de Vera love arc, Joy Viado’s initial disapproval and a sudden approval at the later part, Joey Marquez’s separation with Maricel Soriano, Vice Ganda (Panying)’s gig at the club, Bobby Andrews and Angelu de Leon’s involvement. However, none of these were really developed, and it all was a bit hanging.
The lack of Boy and Tomboy scenes clearly indicated that something was really off with how they were capable of placing these two in the story. You could also be annoyed at how the advertisements made it into the film. Ruffa Gutierrez was nowhere near funny in this story, and she was just being plain annoying and not even on a good way. It seemed like she tried too hard to be funny in a comedy film. She was even awful at the confrontation scene. Joey Marquez looks like he’s bored. He still hasn’t removed the “GMA7 humor” that he has, and is clearly alienated by the kind of humor Vice has.
You could also be disappointed on how everything turned out in the end. It was a conclusion that was done just to close the story. The end to the engagement on Ruffa and Joey, as well as the marriage between Maricel and Joey. It all seemed a bit rush. Well, with a film that’s filled with more punchlines than an actual story, I can’t blame them. It all boils down to the story. They have a cliche and shallow plot to begin with, so there wasn’t really much to build around aside from a few side trips and jokes.
As much as we can say that GBBT has too much of a shallow story, it definitely succeeds in making the audience laugh. Kids love it, parents love it. Filipinos want a good laugh, and this is the movie they would be watching. Wenn Deramas knows what the audience wants. The only problem with Deramas is, he focuses too much on the giggles that he forgets he has a story to get to. Focus on the movie holistically. Don’t be such a cash cow. Make the film industry a bit more respectable. Make a quality film with great scenes and a great story. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.