“I AM NOT BIG BIRD” (2024) | Film Review

“I AM NOT BIG BIRD” (2024) | Film Review

17. June 2024 Off By Thorsten Boose

Reference to Jackie Chan: none available

“Be the bigger man!”

One advantage of Netflix is that they really do present you with modern films and stories from all over the world that you’re either not used to in this country or that you’ve already grown out of.

I think the latter applies to the Filipino comedy ‘I AM NOT BIG BIRD’ (2024), in which the ill-equipped CARPIO travels to Thailand with a metrosexual and a horny boyfriend after his girlfriend rejects his marriage proposal.

Three Filipinos on a sex tour in Thailand, one inevitably thinks of ‘The Hangover Part II’ (2011). Even though elements are clearly reminiscent of it, this ‘raunchy comedy’ overdoes it so much with its raunchy jokes that, from the perspective of a Central European, you feel like you’ve been transported back to the 2000s when sex comedies were on the rise.

"I Am Not Big Bird" directed by Victor Villanueva, OGPI

It is quite possible that a kind of sexual revolution is taking place in the Philippines, as in many other Asian countries such as South Korea and Taiwan. Taiwan was the first Southeast Asian country to legalise gay marriage, while in Thailand – according to the film – porn is still banned.

What you think of that is not up for debate here. However, the film addresses precisely such issues, as well as modern role allocation. It doesn’t come across as preachy and I can imagine that the film will appeal to the domestic market. It’s not really for us Big Noses.

The narrative structure clearly follows the comedy of errors from the 80s. Misunderstandings are always funny, but only if you are prevented from clearing them up. CARPIO, our film hero, simply does nothing to convince his new Thai friends and enemies that he is not the wanted porn film star BIG BIRD.

This alone causes the entire plot to quickly collapse because there are simply no clear motives for the characters. All the better for the happy ending. Extra points for a small, choreographed fight scene.

An audacious 3.9 out of 10 stars

Original trailer | “I AM NOT BIG BIRD” (2024)

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