Well here we are again with the MMFF. Instead of enjoying the seventh (or fourth if you ask the hardcore loyalists of the original trilogy) installment of the Star Wars film franchise, here I am writing another rant because few of the films in my local cinema are even worth a second glace. Okay, I might give Honor Thy Father a chance but the operative word here is I might. Truth be told, I don’t mind local movies. In fact, when I was a child, I saw quite a few good Filipino films that I would watch again once I have the time to do so.
Unfortunately, the kind of films that are out today are either an insult to the intelligence of the viewers or is a bad influence to the youth of today due to their often misguiding principles. This is especially true with Pinoy romantic-comedies or “rom-coms” for short. Of course, I’m not saying that all Filipino rom-coms are horrible, I’m sure that there are those who probably have something worthwhile. However, gems in Philippine media (like Heneral Luna, Muro Ami, Magnifico and Abakada… Ina) rarely shine for very long and, like pond scum, it’s usually the trashy films that are borderline toxic that float to the surface.
Now, returning to the MMFF, it seems that the film Bebelove (whatever the title is even meant to imply) is raking in quite a bit of attention thanks to the fact that the leads are none other than the AlDub couple which everyone seems to be so crazy about these days. However, while I don’t mind the occasional rom-com (I can admit to being an avid fan of How I Met Your Mother, actually) I find their prevalence in Philippine media along with their often erroneous message to the youths more than a little alarming.
Anyway, here are my three big points when it comes to Pinoy rom-coms and why, even if we don’t remove them, we should at least try to reduce their prevalence and influence and somehow introduce a sense of realism to them:
They Do Not Differentiate Between Love And Lust
The thing is, a lot of people simply can’t tell the difference between love and lust. Okay, well they are a little similar and they do overlap from time to time but the major difference between them is that love is more about sharing and lust is more about preoccupation. From what I’ve observed, majority of the romance films or shows on the local media are less about actual love and more about selfishness.
Let me go into it a bit further. As I’ve said before in a previous article, self-love is they key to finding “true love” in this world because you can never really give what you do not have. In order for one to have a healthy and lasting romantic relationship, one must first have a healthy love of one’s self. Unfortunately, this isn’t so in many of our shows. It’s usually more about obsessing about someone than actually caring about their happiness.
While I might not be the world’s expert when it comes to love, I think that it always boils down to making the other person happy. This includes having to let them go because you respect their happiness too much to stop them. This is often not so when it comes to local romance stories and they focus more on making a person obliged to love and be with someone instead of doing so because it makes them happy.
They Encourage An Emo Mindset
Well, to be honest, this is also present in foreign media. However, this is all too prevalent in Philippine media and, honestly, it’s probably one of the worst offenders here. This also goes hand in hand with my first point above.
See love, as I’ve already stated, should first begin with oneself. It’s about finding happiness in yourself and letting it attract the right kind of person to love you. Then, you share that happiness that you’ve found within yourself with your significant other and vice versa.
However, that isn’t so as our local media would have us believe. Instead, they emphasize on the idea that someone will come along and give you happiness, not the other way around. And in keeping with the obsessive nature of Pinoy rom-coms, they seem to espouse the idea that one cannot be happy if one does not have a significant other in their lives. It’s as if they’re saying that being “single” automatically equates to being a “loser” and that one cannot enjoy life without a “special someone”.
Instead of encouraging our youths to enjoy their lives and find meaning in what they do, many of our rom-coms seem to convince them that nothing they do will have any real meaning unless they have a significant other.
They Make You Think Love Can Solve Everything
Okay, I’ll concede to the fact that sometimes, people do get lucky. Sometimes they find the right person who can change their lives for the better. Unfortunately, stories like these are few and far between and aren’t exactly what they seem.
More often than not, romantic relationships (like anything else in real life apparently) will have its ups and downs. It will never be perfect and, for some, a considerable amount of struggle is required to make the best of it. However, that’s not what the media likes to show.
For instance, one can recall the series Please Be Careful With My Heart and how it seemed to insinuate that love can solve everything. Yes, love is a powerful force that can be used for positive purposes and allow one to make the right actions and changes for the greater good. However, it certainly isn’t going to solve everything for you. More often than not, Pinoy rom-coms seem to suggest that nothing matters asides from having a significant other even though a relationship can sometimes be less than beneficial or, in some instances, be outright destructive.
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- No More Nonsense Films For This Year’s MMFF: Why I Have Some Hope For The Media - December 4, 2016