Saturday, March 30, 2013

It Takes a Man and a Woman


Two years after calling it quits, Laida Magtalas (Sarah Geronimo) and Miggy Montenegro (John Lloyd Cruz) return to Flippage, the publishing company where they used to work as assistant and boss in A Very Special Love, following his demotion and her return from a stint in Toronto and New York. Roles are reversed as she now plays the role of consultant, and he, the de facto editor-in-chief. It does not take long until their professional and personal lives mix, which proves to be detrimental for the dynamics in the workplace. As much as she does not want to admit it, she is still not over him. He, on the other hand, seems to have moved on through a relationship with an ex from high school called Isabelle (Isabelle Daza). The million dollar question: Are they ever getting back together? The answer: This is a Star Cinema movie.

The first few scenes at the airport serve as a brief prologue on what occurred after You Changed My Life. It would have been better if they used those scenes as an epilogue for the second movie, just to justify the need and perhaps stir up some curiosity for a third one because seriously, the series could have done without this third instalment. The first movie was the fairy tale; the second one, the deconstruction of that fairy tale, which still ended on a happy note and should have done so there. This movie exists either to reiterate a happy ending, which is redundant because they already had just that, or to cash in, which it probably would. However, It Takes a Man and a Woman could also be construed as a suitable conclusion for a trilogy (Star Wars? Lord of the Rings? Shake Rattle and Roll?); a way of showing that the characters evolved somehow, especially in Laida’s case.

If you have seen any episode of Sarah Geronimo’s defunct Sunday night variety show, you would know that she could look fiercer and bolder than what the director manages to squeeze out of her here. The faux New York accent is understandable as an attempt to impress previous acquaintances, a means of flaunting how one has changed over the years, and arguably a trait that is very Filipino. What seems to defy comprehension is the horrible wig and the choice of office attire, which reminds you of what office girls in the 90’s used to look like. This is 2013. The director could have at least given Geronimo a break and let her sport her own hair. Besides, she endorses a shampoo brand, does she not?

Perhaps it has something to do with characterization. Perhaps they want us to see a girl trying hard to be a woman because she is already a woman and should be acting her age, but still remains to be the giggly girl she was half a decade ago. In the end, it could be argued that she does mature, but one just could not shake off that juvenile image of her, which also seems to be a problem for Geronimo in real life. Here is hoping that she gets to graduate from all the teenybopper fare after this.

John Lloyd offers the same brand of acting, which is not at all negative because this guy can act anyway and has never had problems in that department. Maybe it is the character itself that would come off as annoying. His bitchiness prevalent in the first movie is back. Although a few flashbacks and the circumstances following that somehow merit this demeanor, you would think that the character should be way beyond that behavior two movies after. One cannot blame the writers though as there seems to be nothing else to explore in the story, and Miggy being a bitch is the only source of conflict given how the third party does not even spew venom. At all.

Good movie debut for Isabelle Daza. The role is perfect for a newbie because it does not necessitate any heavy acting. All she ever does here is exchange guilty looks with the two leads most of the time. She does get one crying scene, which is passable and not that awkward. The only thing close to a cat fight that you get is when she takes off her blazer in the conference room after Geronimo does hers; no verbal altercations whatsoever. All the conflict is between Miggy and Laida. Isabelle is just the pretty third party, and that contributes a bit as to why the movie seems rather dragging. The third party is just too timid, or maybe they think the audience has already had enough of the feisty third party overload in the mainstream  from the last two years.

The movie ends with a wedding, something that even Nostradamus would never have predicted. This movie is about closure after all, so that is understandable. What is unforgivable is that scene that leads to it; that overload of cheesiness that will never, to reiterate, NEVER happen at NAIA Terminal 3 in this lifetime. It was so tacky and awkward that even the characters themselves could not help but laugh.

All’s well that ends well. This movie is obviously not the best of the three. The fan girls squealing in delight every other minute in the first movie are absent. The natural flow of events present in the sequel could not be found here. Everything seems all too contrived, but ironically and rightfully so, maybe because they have earned it. Scenes and lines are reenacted from the first movie just to give you a quick refresher; a tribute of sorts. The bloopers in the end show how everyone in the cast enjoyed a laughter-filled atmosphere all throughout the shoot. Everybody happy. So perhaps we should just give it to them.

2 creature(s) gave a damn:

chris said...

I've watched this Movie and nakakatawa talaga and ok ang tandem nila. Kilig to the max ang fans for sure.

ihcahieh said...

@chris - well, I won't argue with you on that. May chemistry talaga. Ang angal ko is more on the plot, predictability, and cheesiness of it all. :)

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