Manila Vanilla

What it's like to be a U.S. Fulbright scholar, basketball player, journalist, and the whitest man in Metro Manila.

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Location: Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines

New Yorker by birth, shipped across the globe to the world of malls, shanty-towns, patronage, corruption, basketball and a curious burnt-toast smell that wafts around at dusk

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Pinoy Film Name Generator

I'm looking at the top movie rentals page on the Web site Filipino Movie Rentals. It's a Netflix-style service specializing in Pinoy films, but since Netflix already has a pretty sparkling collection of Aga Mulach and Vilma Santos, I suspect poor little Filipino Movie Rentals won't survive much longer. That doesn't matter for us. Here is a sampling of the films that made the site's top rental list:

Loving You, One True Love, A Love Story, When Love Begins, My Big Love, One More Chance, I've Fallen For You, I Will Always Love You, Close to You, You are the One.

Here are a few others, off the top of my head: For the First Time, Till I Met You, Don't Give up on Us, Till there was You, A Very Special Love.

Notice anything? What in tarnation is going on here? Are Pinoy film producers required by law to choose from a list of 18 words for the titles of their romance films? These names remind me of that long-obsolete Internet innovation, the Wu-Tang name generator. Remember? You type your first and last name into the form boxes, click a button that says "Wu are you?" and get something along the lines of "Machete-swallowing hoodlum" or "La the Darkman" back. Oh wait, La the Darkman is a real Wu-Tang name. Anyway, I'd be willing to bet there's a Pinoy movie name generator out there, to come up with unique, heartwarming titles like "Loving you again" and "In your Arms for the Sixth Time."

Here's the problem. Since the names of these movies are all milquetoast bland and nearly identical, it's nearly impossible to discuss them without a cheat sheet. Here is an imaginary conversation. Imaginary because I'm makit it up and because hardly anyone I know is willing to discuss these cheese festivals with me.

LBoogs: Did you see One More Chance? 

Rafe: Oh, is that the one with Sam Milby and Toni Gonzaga? 

LBoogs: No, fool, that's You are the One. One More Chance is the one with John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo. 

Rafe: Oh, I thought that was Close to You.

LBoogs: Close to You is with John Lloyd and Bea, but One More Chance is newer.

Guys, this doesn't work! Maybe it's the filmmakers' way of admitting that they are failures, that these movies are all the same anyway (same plots, same artistas, same songs, same insane 7-minute musical montages with ballads performed by the stars, even perhaps the same B-roll), so why not give them all the same names. 

7 Comments:

Blogger borg_queen said...

Now that the OFWs' incomes will be affected by the crisis, there will be fewer crappy films like these. Heaven rejoice!

4:51 PM  
Blogger Pon said...

hey i enjoyed close to you and one more chance..hahaha. and they were box office hits :) they name the movie after the pop love song they use to promote the movie, that's why they sound so bland and identical. i never remember the titles, so i just say, 'did you see the new movie of john lloyd and bea?'...hehehe - amillah

5:43 PM  
Blogger Raphael said...

I've seen most of the titles I mentioned. I like them, too. Gonzaga-Milby is my favorite love team.

8:12 PM  
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