Drowned in translation. Words come alive when meaning evolves, that's semantics. If you plan dating on Christmas Day, "English Only Please" is the perfect movie for you. I was one the fortunate chosen few who attended the press preview of Quantum Films and MJM Productions Inc's Metro Manila Film Festival 2014 entry "English Only Please" starring Derek Ramsay and Jennylyn Mercado. The story is about a Fil-Am hunk Julian (Derek) who will hire Tere Madlansacay (Jennylyn) to translate his bitter speech of closure against his ex (Isabel Oli). I was already cracking in laughter in the beginning especially that applicant in the game room who seemed to be clueless on what words to say in English.
Scenes where Tere (Jennylyn) was shown with Korean students, I was taken back to college remembering the struggles and difficulties I had when I was a tutor. Tere's famous scene that went viral in the jeepney terminal was just an icing on the cake because there were more scenes to relate for the singles especially those who endure unrequited love. Many may react to the scenes where Tere will give more than a gay can just to please her lover. Many may go ballistic at the extent of favors and many may find it improbable but the bottom-line of it all is the truth that true love is giving.
Patience starts to wither when trust is lost in relationships. As they say, sometimes when you lose, you win. The movie reminded me that true love waits and very few have the patience to wait. Language is dynamic and the growing meaning of each word develops when people chooses the creative expression. The movie also reminded me of how Filipino grammarians confuse the public majority with their constant changing rules and how the gay community contributes to the creative evolution of each vocabulary. Gay lingo, regardless of the strict elders' indifference is already within the Filipino culture. It isn't any wonder how popular icons have already imbibed such gay expressions as bling to get a message across. For the elders, to be right and just is more important to be kind, so let the students suffer in confusion.
I am no movie critic but here's what an ordinary moviegoer's say about the movie:
What I like : Every scene is quite clear that you'll almost see the actors' pores and the beauty of Jennylyn Mercado is flawless even without makeup. Derek's handsome face is also inimitably impeccable, you'll grab a copy of the movie and play it more times over to imagine being with him. Tere's jeepney scenes, the Korean couple, the applicants' and scenes of "kilig" moments when Tere and Julian (Derek) finally notice their love for each other.
What didn't work for me: You don't want to think on Christmas and for those who'll question why on earth will a business analyst spend more than a thousand dollars for a speech translation is unimaginable. Towards the middle, the story gets predictable and I wished there'll be more vocabulary embedded than those already featured in the film.
Learn more of words, expressions and romantic scenes watching "English Only Please" in cinemas nationwide on Christmas Day December 25, 2014.