JWR Articles: Film/DVD - On Parade (Director/Producer: Edgar Muñiz) - January 16, 2011
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On Parade

3.5 3.5
85 min.

How much of me is enough?

Ah relationships. Once the early heat drops to simmer or is switched off completely—languishing on the back burner—there are usually two options: put the failed experience out of its misery or rekindle the flame—whatever it takes. Purposely not on that short list is the most frequent solution: inertia (doing nothing has kept countless couples pathetically together until their last gasps—not dissimilar to always voting for the same party or fighting senseless wars because “we always have”).

For his most recent feature, director/writer (along with Seth Johansson in the story department) Edgar Muñiz has turned the camera on his ex and himself (playing Manny, one of three buds who stick together through thick and thin even as the women around them come, cum and go).

The result lacks some of the visual inventiveness of Someone Else in the Evening (cross-reference below) but is still worth a peek from members of all sexes who have known the uncomfortable uncertainty of working through a “rough patch.”

Manny’s buds are Tess (the marvellously tattooed Mo Shirazi belies his girly name, readily bedding all comers whether met in the flesh or on line) and Ray (Nicholas Null) who begins “secret” workouts to bring his fleshy physique back into defined territory. For his part, Manny begins to reduce body hair bringing the term V neck a few inches lower and clogging the sink with suddenly unwanted pubes. Take note: that’s a sure sign of sex life boredom.

The women in their lives range from on-line tart (but chips, no-blanket picnic girl) Marla (Elena Scarlett Murray), game-for-anything (anytime) Courtney (Colleen Irene Boag), let’s play dress-up Katie (Alyssa Micariño), through you’ve-told-me-your-secret-now-here’s-mine Lynn (Gabriela Maruri).

Like unravelling relationships everywhere, the pace is a little uneven, hoping that nothing irreversible has been spit out in the moment of honesty and passion (here ranging from discussions around who swallows what, to listening at the door as at least someone gets lucky, to jerking off “solo” in the shower, having the height, er, length of pique).

The two main music choices are curiously at one with the frequently funny, more often thoughtful scenes. Wee bits of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” marvellously underscore the lack of it; frequent helpings of Pachebel’s Canon remind musical viewers that its fixed, never-ending bass line can be forever “topped” with all manner of variations. If trying to work things out together is the cantus firmus then the inventive episodes fit the façade of happiness-found and conceit of the production like a baroque glove (surely no one withheld “going down” privileges to the bearded men—and perhaps a few women—during the 17th century).

Rather than risk being the next jackass, laughing stock, or feeling the lack of spark after a few years’ apparent bliss, couples just starting out or long schackled to one another are advised to watch this show, and then definitely take their next shower together. JWR

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