This weekend, I watched Joey Gosiengfiao’s “Temptation Island”. A Chris Martinez remake of the 1980s cult classic. Imagine this...

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The remake stayed true to the original plot of four beauty queens getting marooned on an island. Practically all of the original dialogue stayed the same. 

I should love this movie because it’s an unwittingly campy social commentary on the concerns of the Filipino middle and upper class. As Jessica Zafra said, “it cleverly exploits aspects of Pinoy culture: the class divide, colegialas and social climbers, the obsession with beauty pageants, and of course, bakla culture.” I should love it because it’s a dark comedy, a rarity in the land that can’t get over Tito, Vic, and Joey.

But I  loved it simply because it was so bizarre and funny- the perfect movie to watch with a bitchy, gay bestie, which I did. The lines were strange, biting, and quotable. So much so that we were repeating them word for word as the movie progressed. (Yes, we had our favorites memorized from the original!)

I have to hand it to Joey Gosiengfiao, the accidental whiz, who never meant to make us laugh. But as they say, forget his original intent because the author is dead. Sadly, that's both figuratively and literally. Good thing his inadvertent masterpiece lives on. My only critique is that Chris Martinez could have injected more of his humor into it. He tried too hard to stay true to the material, but some of the best moments of the film were add-ons on by him.

Spoiler Alert!
My favorite part was when the girls were so starved they started eating sand. It was so absurd on so many levels. One, these are GMA’s most glamorous leading ladies being made to eat sand. Two, they look like they’re enjoying it. Three, this is  a really long vignette and it's making me uncomfortable. At a later time, I thought to myself, “Is this the upper class version of Khavn Dela Cruz’s film about a family that’s so poor they eat soil?”

As for the cast, here are my notes accompanied by their photos on Preview Magazine.

Heart Evangelista: She has the most angelic face, but I have a hard time believing her sincerity whenever she speaks English. I don’t think she’s a bad actress though, she delivers the emotion when she’s speaking in Filipino.

Marian Rivera: She looks like she had so much fun playing the role of the strong-willed, dancing, vivacious, villain with a heart- which is essentially (if we are to believe tabloids) who she is in real life. She makes all that dancing and jiggling so very natural.

Solenn Heussaff: All throughout, my gay friends kept commenting on how she was the most beautiful. She is indeed a stunner, but again I have problems with how she talks. She’s a reverse Heart. Perhaps, they could have changed the character- made her one of those posh girls who studied abroad for 3 months and completely forget how to speak Filipino.

Lovi Poe: Lovi Poe stole the show. From her very first line, she got the original character down pat. She’s got a husky way of speaking that’s oozing with sensuality. You really want to hate her, but at the same time you want to be the one spewing those odd, venomous lines.

Rufa Mae Quinto: A true comedy queen. At first I questioned why she was getting the part of the maid, but as I watched I realized that secretly she's the star. You can’t help but laugh when she's on. The fact that she's a bombshell that can pull off the loveable idiot adds to the weirdness of the whole movie. 

John Lapus: He was domineering and endearing in a very gay way. I wish they had given him more screen time. I remember the original character having a lot more to say.

Male Leads: Two were decent but generally they were all forgettable. Why couldn’t they have put Coco Martin, Jake Cuenca, and Gerard Anderson on these roles? It would have made all the difference.

I hope you all troop down to the cinemas to catch it. Read the article by Erwin Romulo on Preview too!