“Here’s your question: If you are stranded in an island, how did you get there?”
“By plane, of course!” - TY Girls
Charliebebs’s T.Y. Girls is probably one of the most hilarious movies to come out in recent Philippine movie history. From the moment the first contesera comes out to introduce him self (sample: “I can never be your sister. I can never be your mother. But for all we know, I am you long lost father.”) down to its last few frames, it is filled with hilarity.
The movie is about five gay guys (t.y. girls all of them) who jump from one gay beauty pageant to another in the hopes of getting that elusive crown. It’s a road movie in the manner of Priscilla Queen of the Desert and To Wong Foo but, if I may offer my biased opinion, much funnier. I thought the director perfectly captured the carnivalesque atmosphere that surrounds gay beauty pageants: from the rowdy backstage cat fights to the grotesque make-up and hideous gowns. Its pure kitsch. But since the movie is so tongue-in-cheek — even the performances — somehow we are laughing with them and not at them.
But it’s not just the series of non-sequiturs and obviously improvised dialogues that make this movie so great. Even the narrative structure works (the movie feels like it is in a continuous loop) making the jokes and punch lines unpredictable. What I think is sorely missed, however, are the audience shots, a grave exclusion given that gay pageants are not just about the contestants but the audience's reaction as well. Much of the characters reason for joining could have been explained if the director cared to take a few shots of the rapt viewers. (But i heard that it was a quick and tight shoot)
At first, T.Y. Girls may seem to be just a collage of classic gay pageant moments but eventually some interesting characters do emerge from all the chaos. An old, former pageant girl searching for his lost lover, his confused, horny son, an overconfident chubby gay guy, a kleptomaniac, and a contesera obsessed with a has-been movie star. Eventually some of the storylines are resolved but thankfully without being sentimental. But if i were to pick the most colorful character in the movie it is none other than the contesera's battered jeep that has “Hail to the Queens!” plastered in its rear.
Should you watch T.Y. Girls if and when it comes out in theaters? You ask.
That’s a very socially-relevant question. Of course yes! Go as in GOW! Gow!Char!