Main Cast: Billy Crawford, Angeline Quinto, Eric Quizon, Kean Cipriano, Martin Escudero
Director: Joel Lamangan
MTRCB Rating: PG
Released By: Regal Entertainment Inc.
Gays in the Philippines are said to comprise about 10% of the country’s population. Far from their status of decades ago when they used to be frowned at, gays or ‘bekis’ of today enjoy far greater freedom and acceptance in the community. Most of them are creative, financially independent and lead colorful lives - yet in reality, they are often wanting of real love.
“That Thing Called Tanga Na” is a movie about love and friendship among gays. Four gay men and a woman comprise this group of friends who are engaged in various professions. The movie revolves around their heartbreaks on finding true love.
A regular viewer may have a fairly good expectation of this movie owing to the fact that director Joel Lamangan was at the helm. Unfortunately, to be in for a major letdown is totally unexpected.
First of all, one will get lost with such a big number of characters, with everyone actively involved in each others’ lives – including its every twist and turn. It would have been ideal had the characters been allowed to develop for better appreciation.
Among others, the flow of the story is flawed. With such a cast, each scene becomes a confusion of the many issues of each character. Names and situations are lumped up in each fast-paced dialogue making it hard for the viewer to catch up what was actually happening, thus missing the point in the process. There are just so many things going on – literally.
Another thing, it is a struggle to appreciate a movie whose screenplay leaves much to be desired – ie, old, overused gay jokes that had seen better days, in short corny and ridiculous. In street language, ‘bumenta na’. And I bet you, there are a lot of those. Top that with loud and OA acting, and you get the picture.
Ron or papa Tiu (Eric Quizon) plays a rich gay businessman, separated from wife, and is lover to a two-timing Albie. Fashion designer Sissy (Kean Cipriano) suffers a similar fate, along with his girl Friday, Shirley (Angeline Quinto) who has a ‘gifted’ cheating partner, too. It’s only closeted gay Baldo (Billy Crawford), who marries his one true love in an unlikely scenario and salon owner Georgette (Martin Escudero) who seem to be the only characters whose love issues are not as absurd.
Furthermore, the film could have been treated with a fresher take on some gay issues that the public are not familiar with. Unfortunately, it is bombarded with scenes and dialogues that are glaringly old. It doesn’t project gays in a favorable manner the way the movie presented them. Those gay-loving young men who will do anything in exchange for a big bonanza from their rich benefactors, isn’t that as old as the hills?
Perhaps, the only saving grace of the movie are the happy testimonies of celebrity gay couples who have struggled to be accepted for their love and won it in the end.
Others in the movie are Albie Casino, Ken Alfonso, Lawrence Yap, Luke Conde, Nikki Valdez, Gerard Napoles, Paolo Gumabao, Shine Kuk and Vangie Labalan. Now showing in cinemas.