Monday, July 1, 2019

iWant: Review of MOMOL NIGHTS: Risque and Risky

July 1, 2019

Peng (Kim Molina) could not move on from the break-up of a long-term relationship. Her three friends (Vera, Kate Alejandrino and Prince Stefan) advised her to seek out opportunities to MOMOL ("make out - make out lang") with random strangers who catch her attention in the bars they frequent. One guy who made a big impression on Peng was the tall and handsome Marco (Kit Thompson). So when serendipity willed it that they shared a ride together on a taxi, Peng took the bull by the horns and went for it.

Being Gen X, I had no idea about local acronyms like MOMOL until I heard them being mentioned and discussed on a notoriously naughty night-time radio show a few years back. Far from being a thing kept only among more liberal-minded young people, MOMOL has just become the title of a movie being digitally released on the iWant app. Now, I guess everyone knows or will know what this sexual practice means. 

The colorful and frenetic storytelling style of director Benedict Mique will appeal to its millennial target audience. However for a parent of teenagers like me, the whole youth culture presented here was actually scary. In many current Filipino films. sexual encounters are already shown to be inevitable even at the courtship stage among millennials. However, this film took my apprehensions further as it actually promoted MOMOL (and one-night stands) with strangers as a thrilling experience everyone should try at least once in their lives. The very first line already says this, and the final lines reinforce it further.

This was a very different Kim Molina from the girl I first knew from musical stage productions like "Rak of Aegis" and "Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady." Well as Peng, she still had that cute, funny and likable "sister" vibe around her, which was why it was shocking to see her here going for it aggressively in daring sex scenes. Her vibrant sense of humor kept her character afloat, but this also made the sexual risks she took feel scarier.

As Marco, Kit Thompson effortlessly projected that quiet elusive mysterious man vibe women like Peng found irresistible. He was largely just used as eye candy for most of the film, with barely enough lines to say, coasting along with his brooding stares and flashy smiles. Thankfully , he did get to flex some dramatic acting muscle towards the end which reveal his sensitive side and potential for more to offer in future projects.

Call me an old fuddy-duddy, but I personally feel this was a dangerous film for vulnerable young women to watch. It spoke to heartbroken women and advises them to do something very high risk to satisfy "needs." Peng caved into the intense peer pressure exerted by her more sexually-adventurous friends to try these lusty escapades she would not normally try on her own. The MOMOL here went all the way to a one-night stand or two, breaking the list of rules it set. Peng was just lucky that Marco, while a player, was not a total monster.

I'm all for women standing up and going for what they want, but Peng's story with Marco is only a fairy tale and some naive young people may not recognize it as such. In the dangerous world of crime and disease we live in today, young people need to realize that lines need to be drawn especially when it comes to these sexual matters. Viewer discretion is warned in the very first frame before the movie itself began, but this material being freely available online, can this discretion ever be assured? 

As a film reviewer, I rate it 6/10 for its technical merits. But based on what I have written above as a concerned parent, I guess you can surmise how I would rate it on its sense of moral responsibility.

1 comment:

  1. Just watched it recently and I agree with most of what you said. I'm not prude but the words they used were so vulgar. So sad that this is the kind of movies produced nowadays.