In mid-December, I started a Twitter thread that matched Ben&Ben songs with #romanceclass titles, and it garnered a bit of attention from my mutuals as well as people I don't know. Because that thread was made rather haphazardly, I thought of creating a new one with better visuals and stuff, but things got busy right before the holidays, and I wasn't able to continue/complete the thread at all. And because I vowed that I would try my best to finish things I started, here's a blog post instead! <3
(NOTE: I'm going to try doing this Music x Book Match a regular thing just like Pinoy Movie x Book Match, so wish me luck!)
I’ve been noticing how iWant has been producing new and original streaming content for the past year, but it’s only this year I’ve actually tried watching them because Bagman was really good. I’ve yet to try John en Martian too, but last week, I was able to watch their latest offering, MOMOL Nights, which starred Kim Molina and Kit Thompson.
(Be warned: The following review contains spoilers. Scroll down at your own risk.)
iWant didn’t have to work hard to sell me this because 1) I adore Kim, and; 2) the trailer had rom-com beats, which I really liked. <3 Did I want to watch it? HELL YES. But was it a romance? That remained to be seen.
In case you’re wondering why the second question was important, here’s a quick explanation: As a romance author, I am very particular about certain media (books, movies, etc) being branded as a romance when they are very clearly not. Romancelandia’s rule is simple: If it doesn’t have a happy ending, it’s NOT romance.
So is MOMOL Nights a romance? Yes. And here are some things I liked about it:
Our leading lady, Peng. I’m just gonna go straight to the point: I love Peng. The way she was written and portrayed just worked for me. You can totally imagine having a friend like Peng—lovable and honest, still reeling from a recent heartbreak but willing to open herself up again for love. Or just sex. Kim Molina has always impressed me with her acting chops, and she didn’t disappoint me here. If it were another actress playing Peng, I’m not sure she would have come off as awkwardly cute…which was one of the things Marco (Kit Thompson) loved about her.
It’s sex positive. In the year of our Lord 2019, a lot of people still frown upon casual sex like it’s something to be ashamed of. And it’s REALLY not. (I’m saying this with exceptions, though, because if you’re married or in an exclusive relationship and you’re still enjoying casual sex with someone else, you’re just downright trash.) Just like it says in the movie, “Sex is not dirty. It’s being human.” I like that MOMOL Nights was able to show a woman being comfortable with her sexuality and just going for what she wants without feeling guilty about it. (Although there were casual hints of slutshaming from her friends, which confused me a bit because hey, looking for someone to MOMOL was their idea.)
It promotes safe sex! It’s only a small fraction of the entire movie, but I appreciated that the screenwriter/s put it there. Practice safe sex, kids.
The MOMOL rules. There are a LOT, but one of my favorites is, essentially, Do not hook up with someone who’s spoken for. Simple, but ethical. I’m all for fulfilling a basic need, but not at the expense of someone else, please.
And now for the things that didn’t quite work for me:
Our leading man, Marco. He’s easy on the eyes, yes. And I agreed with Peng when she said when Marco speaks, everything sounds so nice. But I felt Kit Thompson was underutilized in this movie, which resulted to an underdeveloped character. Him talking about his personal loss didn’t quite do it for me. I wanted to see him do more—for and with Peng—so that the ending feels well earned.
Peng’s friends. I liked them in the beginning, when they were supportive of Peng’s forays into MOMOLand (oops, my fingers slipped). But somewhere in the middle, I found them quite mean, which confused me because they knew Peng and her tendency to look for something more than sex. Why then, would they berate her for having feelings toward the guy she hooked up with? They could have talked her out of it in a more…encouraging way, I think, not in a way that dismissed her feelings.
Consent, or the lack thereof. Okay, listen. Just because someone agrees to have sex with you doesn’t mean they’ve given you explicit consent to take photos of them while sleeping. Just. No. Ever heard of those pick-up artists who have sex with random women and take photos and videos with them while having sex and after sex? Disgusting, right? I had that icky feeling when both Peng and Marco were shown taken pictures of their sleeping partners. Please, people. Don’t do that.
AJ doesn’t know the name of the girl she last had a one-night stand with, but damn if the Universe wasn’t a prankster, bringing Jackie back into her life and throwing in AJ’s ex-boyfriend in the mix, too.
Isabel, a CEO-in-training and heiress to a cosmetics company, needs to hire an assistant, stat. What happens when the eligible applicant in front of her is the same man she was in bed with the night before?
MMA fighter Niccolo and snarky feminist Rose have nothing in common. Save maybe for that insanely hot night in Vegas.
All of the book recommendations may also be found on romanceclassbooks.com and are available for purchase in print during our events and straight from the authors. For questions on any of the books, feel free to leave a comment below.