Rare breed of pink flick
Alvin Yapan’s “Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa” is a rare breed of pink flick. It offers a gratifying viewing experience because, despite its muted gay-themed sensibility, its metaphor-heavy narrative cadences are lusciously paced by the evocative power of women’s poetry, as well as its lead actors’ thoughtful portrayals:
To impress his literature professor cum dance instructor (Jean Garcia), Marlon (Paulo Avelino) hires Dennis (Rocco Nacino) to teach him how to dance – and forges an unlikely “friendship” with his tutor. What the characters eventually learn about one another opens them up to intriguing and liberating – possibilities!
With help from Arvin Viola’s cinematography, Yapan utilizes movement, dance, and the words of Joi Barrios, Merlinda Bobis, Ruth Elynia Mabanglo, Rebecca Añonuevo, Benilda Santos and Ophelia Dimalanta to frame his story.
The three leads figure in skilfully executed scenes that will keep viewers guessing – and rooting – for the production’s lonely characters: Garcia’s reaction as she watches the boys’ audition piece, Nacino’s surprising walkout after he’s offered money for his services, and Avelino tearing up at the end of their performance.
There’s not much dialogue exchanged between the characters, but the lines they do trade and the meaningful glances they share are more revealing than any scene you’ll see in other gay-themed films.
Sarah Jessica Parker isn’t as lucky. You’d think Carrie Bradshaw’s famous alter ego would be appropriately equipped with a lifetime’s worth of “ammunition” in her quest for the elusive Happily Ever After when she finally trades her amusing concerns as a single lady for mother-hen obligations.
But, there’s too much joyless frenzy in the way Parker portrays a supposedly successful career woman in Douglas McGrath’s “I Don’t Know How She Does It.”
As they alternately break the fourth wall and act out their scenes, the actors in Parker’s outdated chick flick deconstruct the boundaries of metafiction by talking about her character, Kate Reddy – who juggles motherhood and a career as a hotshot investment analyst – or proselytizing about life’s various inconveniences. Alas, they mistake wit for rambling, inconsequential humor.
McGrath’s movie attempts to celebrate womanhood and the joys of marriage. What it achieves, instead, is the opposite—it makes family life seem unattractive and chaotic! A more inventive director would have found a better way to find comedic pertinence in Kate’s situation.
Moreover, you know that a rom-com is in trouble if its most engaging scene shows its beleaguered protagonist trying hard not to scratch herself during a meeting with her boss after she gets infected with – lice! If the movie is Parker’s idea of marital bliss, then the single ladies looking forward to seeing it are in for a rude awakening!
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