Chummy Forever

Half moon, Full moon

With Wenn Deramas’ film Ang Tanging Ina N’yong Lahat, I gave a smirk. But not with his latest film BFF (Best Friends Forever). It is a polished version of how he works as a filmmaker inclining to be a crowd pleaser in the comedy genre. And even when the film is made to accommodate the much-loved masses for economic rationality, they are predisposed to deliberately perk up the comedy craft all the while. I am not being sarcastic. It’s just that the previous film is a shame to comedies in general. Its story is insensible, forced to commit the deadly sin of greed without reliable merits with the end product. I am comparing it because BFF is an example of a film that is entertaining, funny and ingenious in relative terms.

Don’t get me wrong here; BFF is not made to be a spectacular work of art. But the art of comedy that Deramas has fused in is more commendable. These are on the grounds of comic execution and swift combination of comedy and drama. The heavy usage of slapstick is very laudable mostly because the lead actress Sharon Cuneta could do all those crazy antics without looking inadequate in comic timing. Ai-ai delas Alas grace the limelight once again with a finer composition of her comedic persona.

I really love comedies especially slapstick films made by Chaplin and Gaidai. This is why I admire how slapstick is incorporated in this film. I know most people think that slapsticks are a major turn-off albeit antiquated. But if you come to think of it, it’s merely loathed because the execution is nearly detrimental to the idea of slapsticks which is; it has to be perfectly timed and clear-cut. Cuneta and delas Alas merely lets loose and make fun of their selves which I think works miraculously. Cuneta is not even anxious to be poked fun with her plump demeanor. They also exploited their awkward behaviors and human flaws like the glorified elongated chin of delas Alas. It’s not insulting and its execution is admirable with the customary whacky sound effects utilization.

The film starts with the funeral of Tim (John Estrada). He is the husband of Honey (Sharon Cuneta). Frances (Ai-ai delas Alas) walks in the room veiled in black, create a mini-scandal as she is known to be the mistress of Tim. The subsequent scenarios are mostly flashbacks, giving us the story of how these two people establish their friendship. Honey is a mother of three who is getting frustrated with the cold behavior of her husband. She suspects that Tim has a mistress after seeing a pair of lingerie at the trunk of the car. She was counseled by her mother played by the flamboyant Gina Pareño that she has to work on her appearance mostly on her corpulent figure. She applies in a gym where she is helped emotionally and physically by the cheerful and fun-spirited Frances.

Another dimension tackled in the film dwells on relationships, family affairs and friendships. There are tips to wives with philandering husbands just like what Frances talks about appreciation, emotional connection and even our sexual fantasies. These boost a stagnant relationship which could be learned from an undeclared mistress. It’s not all flippancy but a paint of drama is apparently important as the film depicts lives of distressed people.

BFF has a good script written and it’s a bit alarming for the efforts made to make the film wholesome. I had fun watching this film as I could see that slapstick comedies are again alive and in good form. He could be more experimental on this aspect as anything that looks crazy, absurd, and even illogical as long as the execution is crisp, could be amusing. It adheres in theory with what slapstick is all about. This is the best comedy he has made so far. I think the main problem is, will the audience take this seriously? Comedies are best appreciated if we aim to believe the laughter and not defy the act of laughing, which is ridiculous.

Charlie Koon's Rating:

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