Wednesday, May 7, 2014

So It's You

Lira (Carla Abellana) is supposed to get married to Tony (JC de Vera), but he does not show up on their wedding day. Goryo (Tom Rodriguez) is in the shoemaking business, making ends meet for his kid whose mother has left them for a rich guy. Their paths cross several times as she tries to find the perfect shoes. He is obviously into her, but she still has feelings for her ex. She then decides to enlist his help to make Tony jealous, who is now married to a girl who finds out that she has some sort of terminal illness. As the ex-soon-to-be-wed couple get back together and try to make things work, Goryo is left out of the equation and goes back to focusing on his son. But why can’t Lira stop thinking of him even if she should finally be happy with what she has now?

We love Jun Lana. He has given us some of the most memorable films in the indie scene in recent memory. However, it seems as though he is still obliged to churn out the usual recycled storylines to keep Regal from going bankrupt. While the attempt is obvious, the end product is just a bit too cliché for appreciation. The movie still has some memorable and funny moments, though, but not because of the lead characters.

Regal must be banking on Abellana that much to give her one lead role right after another. Whatever happened to Lovie Poe? A teenybopper role once in a while would probably not hurt, but it just feels a bit retrograde for Abellana’s career. She has finally managed to break free from the naive can’t-act mold since her lackluster TV debut. In fact, she has had several roles worthy of recognition in the last few years. But maybe there is just no getting around this, given how Regal dictates what has to be done here anyway. Banking on a love team to sell a movie just seems a bit too 90’s, especially if your actors could already stand on their own in terms of acting prowess.

Rodriguez gets the better part of the bargain because he gets to prove that he is able to adjust to fit certain roles. Such a move feels calculated, though, as it is common for these half-half actors to go down this route by playing the atypical provincial lad or poor boy, having to adjust their accents just to prove to everyone that they can. The character of Goryo is perhaps just as childish as that of Lira, and maybe this is the reason why they jive. This does not mean, however, that they are not annoying, because they actually are.

De Vera does not do much to deserve credit. He could have been replaced by anyone and nobody would care. It is the supporting actors who steal the show once in a while. Paolo Ballesteros as the loud gay BFF comes to mind. Typecasting aside, he brings forth the necessary comic relief to make this dull movie tolerable to some extent. It is the same case with the girl who plays the role of Tony’s wife even though there are many moments where she just goes overboard and makes you cringe as a result. Lira’s gay brother is an abomination because the character is just the stereotypical homosexual who watches past Miss Universe episodes in secret. How passé is this characterization of gay men? It does not help that the actor who plays the part could not act to save his life.

Overall, this is one predictable film that you can live without, unless you are really that bored.

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