December 25, 2009

Kimmy Dora Review

Kimmy Dora
Starring Eugene Domingo
Directed by Joyce Bernal

When one sees a film where an actor plays two roles, there's something about it that makes a person think that the movie is gonna be pretty bad- I don't know, blame Eddie Murphy- so when I got into the world of Kimmy Dora, I had my share of prejudices.

And my preconceived notions were almost dead-on.

So it's set in the corporate world and Eugene Domingo's characters' family is a very influential one in this world indeed. Basically, Kimmy is the dragon lady of the establishment who maltreats her employees but gets things done well. Dora on the other hand is the very slow sister sister so you can see how different their personalities are at the get-go. The Go Hyun-Dae company is at the risk of collapse when a misunderstanding occurs, will the day be saved?

First off, I'm gonna comment on the portrayal of Dora which has had its share of fire and controversy. The movie has its good intentions, but the portrayal does have potential to rile up some of the groups that advocate the well-being of the people who are of less mental capacity. The film does depict 'normal' people (Kimmy) mistreating and cursing the 'slower' people (Dora) but I can also see the direction they were headed with this: this wasn't supposed to be offensive, it was supposed to be for comic relief that they can take advantage of (ala Aling Dionisia's appearance and background in Ang Tanging Pamilya), the whole movie, in this way, is a throwback to the slapstick comedies of old that depicts stereotypes and gets away with it. When appreciated in that angle, it all becomes a bit funnier, a bit less offensive, a bit more preachy.

I mean, the movie is mostly full of slapstick and unsophisticated suggestive jokes, but at the end of the day, it also has its share of lessons like appreciating a family member, appreciating the things you have in life, and appreciating the people around you, but this feels so phoned in and tacked on that it just kinda borders on preachy. There is an effort to make the lessons rather seamless, but I'm not too convinced.

Also, what the hell is up with those pointless cameos? Seriously. Piolo, Vhong, Ruffa Mae, Christian, Erik... the list goes on... WHY ARE YOU THERE? Aiza Seguerra's appearance makes a lot of sense in the context of the story but... all of you guys? I don't get the point. All I know is that these 'tips' are just friggin distracting. Maybe they were just passing by and the crew said, 'Oh, hey, we had a lot of money to spare so why don't you wear this waiter's dress, serve some food and call it a day?' Fine, I understand if Piolo's in there because he's a producer but how about all the others?

Okay, I have to confess, I laughed a few times. It's hard not to laugh with the Three's Company-esque situations presented in the movie, but that may just be the thing as to why I think that some of the scenes here are funnier than they should be: I'm reminded of all the classic comedies that inspired this movie. Perhaps, one can enjoy this movie best when it's thought of as a little throwback to the 60's or the 70's era of slapstick/screwball comedies.

And that's also the thing that makes my feelings mixed about most everything in this movie. Is my judgment of the comedic quality of the movie influenced solely by my appreciation for some of the older comedies, or is it just because I laugh at the smallest things? Judgment of the funny factor will be up to you, really. But of course, there are still a lot of times when the comedy just falls flat, and the love interest factor just makes the mood worse by making it awkward (as if his character wasn't socially awkward enough).

Overall, I have a lot of mixed feelings about this movie, but for the most part it is kind of decent, but it's hard to expect that the comedy is gonna be subtle and fluid and more importantly funny. Watch with caution, but try to appreciate it as if you're watching an old Three's Company episode with its tried-and-true misunderstanding approach, so you can at least get a laugh or two out of it.

And the theme song! Horrible excuse of a theme song! It's not even a 'so-bad-it's-stuck-in-my-head' kind of song, it's just... bad. You have frigging Aiza Seguerra, use her!

Rating: 4/10

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