Sunday, March 6, 2016

Always Be My Maybe (2016)

On Friday, I watched a movie entitled "Always Be My Maybe", directed by Dan Villegas and top-billed by Gerald Anderson and Arci Muñoz. The movie, produced by Star Cinema, was about two people who became friends after their respective romantic relationships failed. The story, as any Filipino rom-com would have it, showed the ups and downs of the relationship between the protagonists... with both ending up happy... or at least that's when the director hollers, "Cut! That's a wrap!" to the cast and the crew.

Anyway, I am not writing about the movie as much as I am writing about how current the language used by the characters was. Kudos to the scriptwriters, Patrick Valencia and Jancy Nicolas! They made the characters talk the way a certain group of Filipinos talk, making the characters realistic and relatable. Kudos to the cast and the director too, because they made the script come to life. One of the more salient points was when Gerald's character, Jake, was having drinks at a café with a woman he just met at a bar. She was speaking in an affected and exaggerated version of Valley-speak. It's the sociolect (yeah, as opposed to region-centric dialect) associated with girls from Southern California and the seeming projection of laziness, airheadedness, and materialism. Think Clueless (the movie) and the reality tv shows of Paris Hilton, of Nicole Richie, and of the Kardashians (sorry, but characters in their shows do speak with that way). These shows, however, depicted characters talking naturally using Valley-speak.

... But not the lady in the coffee shop. She spoke with a high rising terminal that made her statements sound like questions. Plus, she kept on saying "I can't even." as if those three words were a complete sentence. Okay, very Valley Girl, right? Until we take her accent into account. She spoke with a strong Manila accent, I'd say. And it sounded strange to my ears. This isn't a case of discrimination, mind. But it's about people who aspire to seem like they're in social classes higher those they're really in; it's about aspirations to belong to a culture that one is definitely foreign to him/her.

That scene, I think, contributed a lot to the comic value of the film. It's so awkward that it's funny... It's still the topic of discussion among my friends who've seen the film.

I. Can't. Even.