Kita Kita (I see you) is a 2017 Filipino romantic-comedy movie starring Empoy Marquez and Alessandra De Rossi.
Mostly shot in the beautiful city of Sapporo, Japan, it tells the story of Lea (Alessandra De Rossi), who experienced temporary blindness after discovering her boyfriend cheating with one of her friends. She then have her heart hardened afterwards.
Enter Tonyo (Empoy Marquez) who came to the rescue as the energetic, bubbly, neighbor, who kept on talking, bordering annoying, to Lea every single day. Lea finally went along, and the two got close within the span of two weeks, going out places, touring around Hokkaido, and softening Lea’s walls until Tonyo’s untimely (and might I add, stupid, who crosses the street when you know there’s a rush of cars approaching?) death. Lea then discovers that Tonyo had already known her beforehand as she went to Tonyo’s house with the key he previously gave. Tonyo narrates in a letter he was to give to Lea that he was the homeless she was giving all those cabbages to, the banana that complemented her heart the evening it was broken by her boyfriend skipping their date, and the one who rescued and was there when she fell to the ground when her vision started getting blurry and lost consciousness.
The following is just my opinion. I am no movie critic by a long shot. I just needed to put in text what I felt.
I enjoyed the film. There is no doubt in that. It was funny with all the punch lines and witty banters of the two main characters. However, at the back of mind, I could not help but think that this is a fine example of a “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” concept to some extent, only, it’s not the girl character who exhibits the characteristics, but the boy instead.
“A Manic Pixie Dream Girl or MPDG, is a term coined by film critic Nathan Rabin after seeing Elizabethtown. It refers to “that bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures.” A pretty, outgoing, whacky female romantic lead whose sole purpose is to help broody male characters lighten up and enjoy their lives. ”
– Urban Dictionary
Tonyo (Empoy Marquez) is a deviation from your usual leading man – hunk, buff, rich, and famous. He is not that good-looking if you look at him from the society’s POV. He is not rich (although I wonder how much he has saved up to afford all those trips he had with Lea when he was practically jobless at the time). What he is, is a funny (the characteristic you associate, usually, with side characters), chatty, kinda creepy and stalker-ish guy, who helped Lea survived her temporary blindness phase and get back on with her life, and who conveniently disappeared (or died) seconds after Lea got her vision back.
So forgive me for otherwise thinking Kita Kita as a movie with a fresh take on the romantic side wherein the leading man is not a Piolo Pascual, John Lloyd Curz, Paulo Avelino, or insert-name-of-who-is-popular-at-the-moment), it was a movie that actually exploits the stereotype for the funny-but-not-good looking male characters. It sure is different from your usual rom-com formula, but the difference is on the expense of another character.
I get that it became wildly popular because the leading man is a funny-but-not-good looking-guy who gets to be the leading man nonetheless but does it change anything?
No, because in the end, the funny-but-not-good looking guy still DID NOT GET THE GIRL.
P.S. Here’s a slam I really love describing Manic Pixie Dream Girl from Olivia Gatwood.