Sep 18, 2016

[Movies] Gaydar (2013)

One of the quirkier aspects of iFlix is how they include preset playlists whether curated by iFlix folks themselves and more recently by various celebrities and internet figures. I was most surprised by their #LoveWins list, which is a collection of LGBT movies, most of them being local ones.

And this is how I discovered Gaydar, which turns out to be one of the products of Quezon City International Pink Film Festival. At first glance it appeared to be a decent effort to create a commercially viable LGBT movie with some fairly well-known stars, and so that got me a little excited.

Plus the partner and I have had a decent appreciation for Rafael Rosell without any serious effort to watch him in any local movies or TV shows. So this was an opportunity to see him in a movie and that had to count for something, right?

Sadly, the hiccup here is that the movie felt like a really old plot re-hashed in a local setting, which I guess says a lot about the sort of stories one can expect from the local movie industry.

Synopsis: Gaydar is a Filipino romantic comedy movie written and directed by Alvin Yapan. It was among the movies filmed at the first Quezon City International Pink Film Festival in 2013.

Tina (Pauleen Luna) has had a string of bad luck with guys since she keeps ending up dating guys who happen to be gay. When her last boyfriend breaks up with her at a dinner where he also offers to introduce her to his boyfriend, she decides she's had enough. But when she encounters a surprisingly attractive FX driver named Richard (Tom Rodriguez), she's both smitten yet fearful that he might be gay. She then turns to her seemingly effeminate and well-dressed best friend Nick (Rafael Rosell) to try and find a way to figure out whether or not Richard is straight before she fully commits to anything.

What I Liked: Rafael Rosell is still cute despite the ridiculously preppy outfits they decided to make him wear in an effort to make him look gay. Tom Rodriguez is pretty charming at times but his character wasn't all that fleshed out. But these two are all that the movie has going for it. They've both pretty easy on the eyes.

What Could Have Been Better: How this movie got billed as an LGBT movie is a little surprising given *SPOILER ALERT* no one is actually gay in the primary cast. What we have is a love triangle and a lot of terrible assumptions about other people's sexualilty and gender identity based on 90's era stereotypes. Rodriguez is pretty wooden in his performance except that he smiles really well. The character of Tina makes no sense and the whole premise for her riding the FX is beyond reason.

The writing is terrible problematic since it perpetuates stereotypes and it has very odd and even disturbing moments. The movie's climax where the love triangle is finally resolved is terrible and actually quite mean and why the two still end up together makes no sense to me. How could you go out with someone after a traumatizing situation like that? It's just terrible!

TL;DR: Gaydar is an attempt to create a commercially viable LGBT movie but to do so they only left gay innuendo and took out the actual gay protagonists! Amazing! So yeah, skip this movie entirely. It only gets 1 sad supposedly gay outfit that the stick Rafael Rosell in out of a possible 5.

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