TWO movies about love sick people will be shown one after the other. “Camp Sawi” is about five young women who are all broken-hearted. “That Thing Called Tanga Na” is about four gays and one woman also experiencing the same thing. The entire female cast of “Camp Sawi” was present at its grand presscon at Le Reve Events Place: Andi Eigenmann, Arci Munoz, Bela Padilla, Yassi Pressman and Kim Molina. The only lead actor, Sam Milby, was a no-show as he was taping for a TV series. The movie is a rehab clinic in an island for heartbroken women who want to recover from their heartaches. All the stars on stage were asked if they’ve experienced heartbreak in real life and how did they move on?
“I suffered a lot,” says Andi about the end of her relationship with Jake Ejercito. “So para maka-move on ako, what I did is I traveled a lot and got to know more about our country. I also did a lot of activities and build a new world na hindi na siya kasali. The experience made me more sure of myself as a person. What’s more important is that you love yourself first as a person.”
“Matagal na 'yun but it really took time for me to move on,” says Arci who admits she’s referring to Kean Cipriano. “I learned so much from the heartbreak. I realized kailangang pagdaanan mo talaga 'yung sakit para next time, alam mo na what to do at bale wala na. But we’ve all moved on. May asawa na siya’t anak and I’ve also found someone else.”
“Three years kong dinamdam 'yung first breakup ko,” says Bela who wouldn’t reveal the identity of guy who broke her heart but those in the know say it’s Jason Abalos. “Sentimental kasi akong tao, e. Hindi agad maka-let go. Umaasa pa akong magkakabalikan kami. It’s good I was working that time so ibinuhos ko na lang ang attention ko sa trabaho. But I’ve moved on and mas happy ako sa bago kong love (Neil Arci, who’s a co-producer of “Camp Sawi”).”
“Masakit, hindi puwedeng madaliin ang pagmu-move on. I’d go out with friends, masaya, pero pag-uwi ko ng bahay, umiiyak pa rin ako hanggang makatulog ako,” says Yassi who’s only known showbiz BF was Sef Cadayona. “But magsasawa ka rin doon sa pain, so you really have to move on para you won’t be bitter kundi better.”
“Isa pa lang ang naging boyfriend ko pero matagal kami kasi since high school pa kami,” says Kim. “Iniyak ko na lang nang husto then I focused on myself and my singing na lang.”
In “Camp Sawi”, Andi plays Clarisse, the mistress of an older man, Tonton Gutierrez, who dumps her and she cannot take it. “Ako 'yung akala mo, very strong, hindi broken hearted. In control when in front of other people. Tinatago niya na deep inside, she’s hurting so much,” says Andi.
Arci plays Gwen, a band singer who’s jilted by her musician boyfriend, Rico Blanco. “Kasi masyadong maangas daw ako at pati 'yung band members ko, hindi masakyan 'yung mga trip ko.”
Bela plays Bridgette, who’s been on with her Chinese boyfriend for ten years. “Pero biglang iniwan niya ako para magpakasal sa ibang babae at hindi ko matanggap 'yun.”
Yassi is Jessica, a perky cheerleader who finds out her athlete boyfriend and campus heartthrob, played by Brett Jackson, is two-timing her.
The extreme case in their group is Kim as Joan, who wants to commit suicide so she’s put in a straight jacket to make sure she cannot kill herself. “Yung fiance ko kasi, nag-propose sa akin, then biglang he dies tragically, so gusto ko na ring magpakamatay.”
The camp master who will help facilitate their therapy sessions inside the camp is Louie, played by Sam Milby. Together, the five women will share the highs and lows in their their broken love lives throughout the movie which will open on August 24, now declared as National Sawi Day.
MOVIE REVIEW: THAT THING CALLED TANGA NA
MOST of the hilarious scenes in “That Thing Called Tanga Na” come from Eric Quizon. He has done many gay films before but this is the one where he is at his flashiest and swishiest, as if he has thrown all caution and inhibitions into the wind and he no longer cares what people may conclude about him. And boy, he does come up with a truly rollicking performance.
As Papa Chu, he is the oldest and the richest among his gay friends in the movie. He is an avid movie fan and his home is adorned with posters of his favorite Tagalog movies and with his photos where he poses with top movie queens, from Nora and Vilma to Sharon and Maricel. He throws his punchlines with aplomb and is also very fond of mouthing lines that are direct quotations from well-loved local films like “Madrasta”, “Kaya Kong Abutin ang Langit” and, the most riotous of all, “Sister Stella L.”
Eric’s splashy performance alone, which squeezes maximum comic mileage and shows how comfortable he is with his sexuality, is already worth the price of admission. He has two memorable confrontation cum catfight scenes with Jerald Napoles (one in a party scene and one in a spa), his rival over his toyboy, Albie Casino. We were really laughing out loud in these well-staged big sequences.
The campy scenes where he and his barkada are watching Miss Universe pageants are also boisterously funny. Scriptwriter Senedy Que should be commended for cooking up some truly ribtickling scenes. And he’s lucky that Director Joel Lamangan successfully and wittily transferred them on the big screen that even homophobes will enjoy watching.
Another show-stealer is Kean Cipriano, who is effortless in his portrayal of a gay fashion designer. Kean is never loud, just flamboyantly but credibly feminine all throughout, very consistent in his limp-wristed characterization in every scene. Martin Escudero as the cross-dressing Georgette, who loves to speak in English but is always murdering the language, and Billy Crawford as Blas, a closet gay and straight acting security guard, also have their moments, but there are scenes where you know they are really straight and just acting out the roles assigned to them.
Angeline Quinto as the mutual friend of Eric and Kean also comes out wacky in most of her scenes, particularly in the hospital where she sings without any sound. She plays Eric’s secretary who has an atrocious fashion sense and always ends up as a ludicrous fashion victim. She’s married to the hunky Mr. Chinatown runner up, Timothy Yap, whose claim to fame in the movie is that he is very well-endowed and the huge bulge on his crotch (somewhat like Chris Hemsworth’s role in “Vacation”) always gets the attention of the four gay lead characters.
Two of the new actors being introduced in the movie seem to be of leading man quality, Luke Conde as the love interest of Martin and Ken Alfonso as Kean’s partner. They just have yet to find their best angles for the camera. Also, they should take more serious acting workshops, especially Ken, who’s “acting na acting” style of emoting in his confrontation scene with Kean needs a lot of toning down, just like Vangie Labalan as the mom of Billy’s live in partner (Paolo Gumabao) who’s always over the top and screechingly “galit na galit na galit” in all her scenes.
All in all, it’s a fun piece of outrageous entertainment guaranteed to give you a lot of side-splitting laughs while conveying a message calling for equality, acceptance, understanding and love. This is evident in the actual interviews made with real life gay couples, like Directors Perci Intalan and Jun Lana, Liza Dino and Aiza Seguerra, and many more, which come out quite moving. Showbiz denizens will be particular delighted as there are many in house and private jokes about people in the industry and they’re the ones who are in the best position to recognize these gags.