This movie almost got it right: the plot was not a minefield of clichés as can be expected from Pinoy romantic comedies. There were no best friends, ‘evil’ evil nemesis, bad guy to good guy epiphanies, and sex scenes that mainstream studios never get right anyway. Instead, there were refreshing characters and developments, so much of them in fact, that unfortunately, they became convoluted enough for the writers to tie them all up in the end soundly.
|Since the trailer gives away a lot of the jokes, I decided to post
Piolo’s photo instead.
Angelica Panganiban, in my opinion, has turned out to be the most charming comedian that we’ve seen onscreen lately. I love how she can easily play the sweet, naive and virginal girl, and still have the humor to subject herself to the most crass situations: in one case, inhaling Piolo Pacual’s armpit. (Yep, reminiscent of that Justin Timberlake Friends with Benefits scene.) There’s also a tenderness and subtlety in her delivery; in the birthday lunch scene, she pretends to be fine among her family, but her voice and tears betray her––I thought that was truly understated and beautiful.
Piolo is a brilliant actor and has won many awards for his past performances but I felt he wasn’t really acting for his age. I’m not sure if it was the actor’s or the director’s fault, but I had misgivings about Piolo’s carefully setup shots, screenshots of which could easily be turned into a desktop wallpaper––they were that staged. His very public breakup with real life ex-girlfriend KC Concepcion also didn’t help make me believe that he was in fact a seducer of women. He had a lot of matinee idol moves, but had no swagger. (On another note, his character, a candidate for VP of Sales, is using myPhone. Right*. )
The rest of the characters, such as the trio of Smokey Manaloto, Carlos Agassi and Joross Gamboa, were more caricatures than actual real-life characters that they might as well have been substituted by cartoons. (This also partly explains the jarring culmination toward the end, when the movie essentially breaks down.) I thought the match-up between Smokey, who used to play Japanese characters, and Ryan Bang, known as the Korean judge on Showtime, was a smart move, but the latter’s character was so one-dimensional and noisy, there was nothing else to do but gag him; unfortunately, that did not even happen.
Overall, I thought it was cute movie, thanks largely to Angelica’s splendid performance, Piolo’s beauty, and some strong, comedic punchlines.
*Product placements are de rigeur for mainstream Pinoy movies
**I forgot to mention that Tatin gave this movie a rating of 2/10, or “Sige na nga, 4/10 for the cute dresses.”