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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Nov 9, 2022



‘SHOWROOM’  is a sex-drama directed by Carlo Obispo, acclaimed Cinemalaya director for such socially relevant films about children like “Purok 7”, “Gasping for Air” and “Baseball Player”. 

This is his first commercial movie and it’s about the rivalry between two enterprising young women who work as real estate agents selling condo units.

The film opens with Liezl, a girl who left her family in Cebu where her family business has a thriving grocery store. 

She abhors her life there and wants to earn more money as a sales agent. 

The problem is she has not sold anything lately and she cannot even pay her bills, even her rent.

And this is because she leads an extravagant life, always splurging in expensive brand name clothes and bags.  

Their boss warns her that if she still couldn’t make any sales soon, then she would be fired. A new sales agent joins their company, Rob Guinto as Susan who speaks English with a promdi accent. 

She looks down on Rob because she’s very articulate and has much better communication skills.

But much to everyone’s surprise, Susan quickly sells several units and is soon on her way to be the company’s top sales agent. 

It makes Liezl envious of Susan and curious about how she does it. 

She spies on Susan and discovers that she sleeps with her potential clients in exchange for them to buy condo units. 

She tells Susan she knows her secret and Susan implores her to keep quiet about it as she is doing that because she’s a single mom whose daughter has a heart problem and needs surgery. 

Soon, Liezl finds herself doing what Susan is doing, seducing prospective clients by promising them freebies like sexual favors. Their rivalry escalates and soon becomes so intense and deadly. 

“Showroom” somehow reminds us of the sizzling rivalry between two theatre actresses in the classic “All About Eve”, but this one is spiced up with so many sex scenes and ends in violence.  

The film works because Rob and Quinn are both good in their respective roles. Rob is very believable in her dramatic scenes as a caring mother. 

Quinn also does well in her drama scenes, but she gets better when she is a bitch of a very mean girl to Rob. 

The narrative flow is generally engaging, but it wobbles toward the end when Direk Carlo seems like he cannot find an apt ending for his film. 

The situations become very contrived, specially the taxi driver (Emilio Garcia) who suddenly passes by when Quinn is waiting for a cab without her knowing that Rob has previously instructed Emilio to steal her money.

We don’t really like how they resolved the conflict between the two girls. We also didn't know that so many men are constantly carrying their checkbooks in their pockets ever ready to pay able and willing real estate agents.

The punishment one of the girls gets is so harsh and we don’t think she deserves it. Vivamax movies have this tendency to almost always have a dark, bleak conclusion, making most of them feel-bad movies, like this one. 

It could have been more positive if the two girls reconciled in the end, with Quinn even offering to help Rob’s sick kid as a kind of redemptive arc for her nasty character. 

Incidentally, Rob’s child is grossly overfed and overweight she doesn’t look sick at all.  

But killing most of the characters seem to be the rule than the exception in Vivamax flicks. 

The worst of this is “Pabuya”, which suddenly ended with all the major characters being killed led by Diego Loyzaga and Franki Russell.