Sunday, February 19, 2012

Unofficially Yours

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Mackie (John Lloyd Cruz) and Ces (Angel Locsin) run into each other at the beach and end up in a one night stand that should have stayed there, except that by mere coincidence their paths cross again at work. He is a dentist in the middle of a career shift to journalism. She is a hot shot writer for the Manila Bulletin. He has feelings for her. She is noncommittal. What should have been a single night of fun turns into a series of no strings attached friends with benefits kind of thing, but she is firm in drawing the line that there would be no relationship at all. He tries every possible way to change her mind but it is not without consequences, and funny anecdotes along the way. At least now the poster makes sense, and they do not use a song title, but what is with the smiley? Seriously. Sorry, linguistic rant.

The first half of the movie is full of make out sessions that make it appear as though the two lead characters were sex-starved or something, although some people would find this rather common. Despite this, the said scenes are presented in a way that they do not appear vulgar; Racy, perhaps, but the director pokes fun at the idea and maybe that is a good thing. If you have seen most of the mature romantic comedies/dramas of Star Cinema, you would notice how the obligatory sex scene seems to be the climax of it all, with the song that serves as the title of the movie playing loud in the background as if it were a big deal. As if it was the “moment”. Here, the sex scenes are plenty and somehow it establishes something which tells you, hey, these are just part of the movie, and NOT the movie. In that way the other aspects are given the chance to stand out, such as the characters and their quips.

John Lloyd gets most of the funny scenes and one can tell from the reaction of the audience that they are quite amused, like, laugh-out-loud amused. He can do drama and has good comedic timing, and box office clout to boot. Him already! There are some scenes in which his laughter does not appear to be simulated, as if they were off-cam moments. Somehow that added something extra in that it feels more genuine and does not feel unnatural even though it was not cut from the final product. His character also benefits from that kind of naivété that people in the audience just adored. In those other movies of his where he is the one being chased, the audience usually gasped and even swooned in unison. Here, they laugh at him, which is a good thing because it is a comedy after all, but not similar to those we are already tired of.

Angel needs more practice. Her drama skills have improved over the years but in terms of comedy she kind of lacks the perfect timing and there are some scenes where she drops punch lines but they just seem so awkward. As for her crying scenes there is just one small trace of that bad habit where she seems to be eating her lines, but effective and moving nonetheless. Other than that she is okay here and it is good to see her tackle a role that is not as serious as her previous ones.

This movie reminds me of Ligo Na U Lapit Na Me, except for that one being kind of surreal because of the lead female character’s weird persona. And then there is that Sassy Girl movie, except that here the girl is not that weird either, but rather, just does not want to be in a relationship. The support cast is the usual bunch of friends who just comment on what happens to the leads. Somehow there would come a time when you would want to see them develop a mini story of their own, just so they would not seem like fillers or cardboard characters, but perhaps this really is the template Star Cinema holds dear. And so fine, as long as they are amusing. The ones here are, without the need to go slapstick. Or maybe because K Brosas is really just funny in almost everything that she does.

The ending is abrupt and some issues are left hanging, convenient ending, in short. At least they do not go wrong with a cliche ending or a bizarre twist. This is an enjoyable movie and I could say that the people in the audience had a really good time.

Patrick Garcia was miscast, by the way. Just saying.

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