‘Bakit Lahat Ng Gwapo May Boyfriend?!’ Review: Loud and proud
Jun Lana’s Bakit Lahat ng Gwapo May Boyfriend?! opens during a wedding ceremony, with Kylie (Anne Curtis), the wedding’s busy planner, bitterly breaking the fourth wall in an effort to set the right mood for something that feels like a farce, until you see through to the smart second layer.
It is the wedding of Kylie’s ex-boyfriend, and her ex-boyfriend is marrying another man. In fact, all of Kylie’s ex-boyfriends are later revealed to be gay. Her experiences have given her the skill to detect whether a certain man is really straight, according to the story.
Not a gay romance
Kylie’s boss Benj (Paolo Ballesteros), who is also one of her ex-boyfriends she’s been griping about, has always been in love with Diego (Dennis Trillo), whom he suspects to be gay as well. Diego however is about to get married, so Benj recruits Kylie to determine if Diego is indeed gay, so that if he is, he can finally admit to him his undying adoration.
Bakit Lahat ng Gwapo May Boyfriend?! however is not a gay love story. The core romance is as straight as they come, with Kylie, who has been too careful with the guys she starts to like, eventually falling for Diego.
The plot is obviously carved from formula, and this time, it isn’t exactly a bad thing. The movie needs to be familiar and agreeable, even to the point of it being seemingly frivolous. While there are parts in the movie that feel like they have been concocted on a whim, the movie never feels like there is no design in its unabashed silliness.
There is an agenda that holds everything together. The movie is actually quite ingenious in its effort to recruit seemingly backward mainstream appeal to bring to the fore statements that might otherwise be too progressive to fit within the scope of what can be commercial. Everything about the movie is screaming queer, except for the main plot, making the movie feel like it is conventional when it is actually sprinkled with all sorts of love.
Cheeky but conscious
This isn’t the first time that Lana has tried this. The Prenup (2015) featured a lead character brought up by gay parents, and the entire movie itself feels like a commentary against traditions that hinder true love.
If The Prenup went for a more subtle approach in delivering its message, Bakit Lahat ng Gwapo May Boyfriend?! opted to be loud and proud. Its humor is diverse. At one point, it seems to be relying on overused stereotypes, with its characters predominantly playing comedic clichés. Thankfully, the movie elevates itself just enough to be as cheeky as it is conscious of the limits of caricature.
The movie falters dramatically when it focuses on Kylie and Diego’s love story. Lana seems like he’s only going through the motions of telling that story, as his mind is elsewhere. In fact, Bakit Lahat ng Gwapo May Boyfriend?! is most effective when it renders its colorful premise and milieu. The movie is bold in celebrating same-sex love. It is even bookended by gay weddings, which is curious and astonishing considering that it is supposed to be about the run-of-the-mill romance between a boy and a girl.
Charm and charisma
Bakit Lahat ng Gwapo May Boyfriend?! is a charming movie. It is generally well-acted, with Curtis providing the movie with tons of charisma. It is dutifully entertaining. However, beneath its immediate pleasures is a heart for all kinds of romance, whether romantic or platonic, or straight or gay. – Rappler.com
Francis Joseph Cruz litigates for a living and writes about cinema for fun. The first Filipino movie he saw in the theaters was Carlo J. Caparas' 'Tirad Pass.' Since then, he's been on a mission to find better memories with Philippine cinema.