Jul 22, 2012

[Movies] Eating Out 5: The Open Weekend

In the first Eating Out we had a straight guy pretending to be gay to get close to a girl. In the second movie we had a gay guy pretending to be "ex-gay" in order to get close to another guy. In the third movie we had a twink pretending to be a buffer guy via a fake social media profile. In the fourth movie...oh whatever.

The original gender-bending premise of these movies got lost somewhere along the way and we ended up with it being reduced to its most fundamental element - lying. So as long as the principal characters are lying to one another, then it's an Eating Out movie, apparently. And seriously, I don't get how our cast went from being your "average" gay guys to those somehow getting signed up for a drama camp one moment and then a "free" weekend stay at a gay friendly resort the next. I guess we just end up wherever the plot dictates we should be, eh?

To be fair, the guys have gotten progressively hotter since the third movie although the story seems to have gotten worse and worse. As much as I want to support talent of a Filipino nature, I think it's about time Q. Allan Brocka moved on from this franchise...

Synopsis: Eating Out 5: The Open Weekend is the 2012 comedy sequel that had been filmed pretty much concurrently with Eating Out 4: Drama Camp. Like past Eating Out movies, it was written and directed by Q. Allan Brocka together with co-screenwriter Phillip J. Bartell.

The movie begins with Zack (Chris Salvatore from Eating Out 3-4) and his new (and freshly out of the closet) boyfriend Benji (Aaron Milo from Eating Out 4) going on a free vacation at a new all-male resort in Palm Springs. They're joined by Zack's pre-op transgender friend Lily (Harmony Santana) as a sort of third wheel for the trip. At the same time, Zack's ex-boyfriend Casey (Daniel Skelton from Eating Out 3-5) also opts to visit the resort together with fag hag Penny (Lilach Mendelovich from Eating Out 4-5).

But Casey is aware that Zack will be there with his new beau and thus is totally focused on how to deal with this fact. Upon arriving at the resort he bumps into a former school bully Peter (Michael Vara) and eventually manages to agree to be his pretend boyfriend for the weekend (the pivotal lie of the movie). What he doesn't know is that Benji has managed to convince Zack that they should try having an open relationship just for the weekend so he can further explore his new found sexuality with the other resort patrons.

You can already see where this is going.

Now a part of me is still annoyed that this movie franchise has transitioned from starting with a clever premise (the whole straight guy pretending to be queer, etc) to have degenerated into just lying. And we seem to be stuck with the cast of the third movie in all subsequent sequels, which probably isn't all that bad but some of the plot twists are starting to lose coherence. And while I appreciate the relative sense of continuity offered by having the same core actors in the subsequent sequels, it still doesn't guarantee good storytelling.

And maybe this has to do with the fact I'm personally against open relationships since it leads to too much trouble. But that's a personal opinion outside of my review of this movie. At least that's what I keep reminding myself.

Now the movie follows two main tracks. On the one hand we have the ex-lovers trying to pretend everything is okay with their respective partners (of sorts). And this involves the usual instances of one spotting the the other guy's partner is seemingly cheating with other guys when in fact it's part of the open relationship or the fact that he's not actually in a relationship - you should know which one is which. On the other hand, we have the two girls running after the one straight guy in the resort, this being the waiter Luis (Alvaro Orlando). And naturally Luis is heavily flirting with both ladies.

Credit where credit is due, most of the guys are definitely hot in this movie. I know I already said this as part of my introduction for this review, but I'll say it again. I can definitely see how the likes of Aaron Milo and Michael Vera are bound to meet the physical standards of most gay guys with slightly hairier Chris Salvatore and highly twinky Daniel Skelton fleshing out the outliers of the taste range. To each his own, I suppose. But I fear that they don't contribute all that much to the overall narrative beyond that function of eye candy.

And the overall story is just, well, blah, for lack of a better term. I don't see what meaningful fulfillment the characters end up with by the time of the resolution of the movie's various plot threads. And quite frankly, I feel that we end up simply changing the sequence of partners around and see who comes out of this particular merry-go-round. I suppose it can't be helped, I suppose. Brocka is determined to focus on a single aspect of the queer community - one that celebrates infidelity and apparently very smooth bodies. And as a creator of movies, that's always going to be his prerogative.

But it does make for a rather lousy movie, and that's what Eating Out 5: The Open Weekend felt like to me. These movies are getting closer to closer to being soft porn romps more than anything else and all semblance of having a worthy plot seems to have gone out the window. Thus I can only give this movie 1.5 fake spooge shots out of a possible 5.

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  1. Ang dami na palang Eating Out movies hehehe. Hanggang 3 lang ata yung napanood ko :)

  2. That may be more than enough, hehe