Julie Z. from CHICAGO, IL Reviewed on 6/28/2011...
I enjoyed the movie, but my daughter...not so much. I'm a fan of all musicals so I'll watch them all. I think it's worth the watch.
No-Budget Coming-of-Age Musical Reflects a Worthy First Effo
Ed Uyeshima | San Francisco, CA USA | 03/17/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"There's a simple emotional acuity at the heart of this 2007 coming-of-age musical. True, at a poverty row budget of $15,000, it has the production values of a direct-to-hotel porn movie, but first-time director Richard Wong and first-time screenwriter, songwriter and co-lead H.P. Mendoza manage to make something substantive from the tired premise of three close friends just out of high school and still reeling from painful romantic breakups and experiencing the social alienation that makes their respective roads to self-discovery bumpy ones. The acting feels stilted and the music rather derivative, but the film somehow makes it to the finish line through its honesty about how life is for social outcasts living in San Francisco's suburban necropolis. It's all the more forgivable for the enthusiastic effort that shows.
Shot on digital video in the real town of Colma, the movie opens with the three leads singing the Rent-inspired rave-up, "Colma Stays", which describes the anonymous small town with clever imagery. Lanky Jake Moreno plays Billy, the most inchoate of the trio, an aspiring actor who not only lands a sales job at the mall (Serramonte for all you SF locals) but also a supporting role in a local community theater production. He can't seem to get over his ex-girlfriend much to the chagrin of not only a smitten fellow actress but also close pal Maribel. With a cheery spark masking an uncertain melancholy, the cherubic L.A. Renigen makes party girl Maribel the earthbound glue holding the trio together just barely. Her shining moment comes with "Crash the Party", a dead ringer for Blondie's "Dreamin'", preceded by the film's funniest moment, a frozen-stare purchase of alcohol with fake IDs similar to the liquor store scene in Superbad.
The most challenged and challenging character is Rodel, played with studied deadpan by Mendoza. Rodel is a gay poet and slacker, closeted from his traditional Filipino father and increasingly jealous of Billy's ability to move on with his life. He provides the film's most painfully realistic moments, as well as the most lacerating lines. Yet, his plaintive rendition of "One Day (Pt. 2)" provides genuine heart to the story's climactic moment. Not everything is wondrous. Moreno's nasal vocals, which make him sound like Bert on Sesame Street, get wearing for the repetitive monotone. The barroom shanty scene runs too long, especially in ¾ time, and the "Deadwalking" duet between Renigen and Mendoza is marred by the arty Bergmanesque intrusion of ghostly couples dancing in the cemetery. The 2007 DVD offers a few surprising extras given the film's low budget - an infectious and insightful commentary track from Wong and Mendoza and fifteen minutes of deleted and extended scenes that were wisely excised from the final cut. Definitely a worthy first effort."
Saw this 3 times in the theater and had to get the DVD
William Dailey | San Francisco, CA United States | 11/21/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"We saw "Colma The Muscial" 3 times in the theater -- it was that good! Loved the catchy tunes (still listen to the CD regularly) and moving story line. Anybody who is a Bay Area local will appreciate the inside jokes, but even if you aren't.. you will enjoy this if you like musicals and are looking for something just a little different. Get it!"
Delightfully Zanily AWESOME Movie!
E. Stuart | Emeryville, CA USA | 12/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this movie in theatrical release - it is completely awesome! Great songs, great acting. Hilarious, bawdy, real and stylized. An AMAZING accomplishment for the filmmakers. Bought the CD too. Now it's time to buy the DVD.
Whatever you do - see this movie!
You have to see this!
John Lau | San Francisco, CA | 11/21/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Saw this in it's limited release. Loads of fun, great songs. Modern coming of aging movie. Talked to some college kids and they thought it was right on target. Give it a shot, you will not be sorry."