Love's Blunders

Caught in the act

Kilig meter definitely reached its highest peak. As well as its quality... in reverse form. Loving You certainly is a crummy film with lots of beautiful faces, with an abundance of mushy moments all marketed to raise the kilig level to extreme. But the movie is automated to self-destruct.

Tom, Jepoi, Lane, Tonee, and Bry are group of friends who work in a call center industry. Tom (JC De Veyra) and Lane (Yasmien Kurdi) are best friends. Their love is trapped in an awkward state of denial. Tom’s bestbud is Jepoi (Polo Ravales), a call center instructor. He met Cyrill (Jean Garcia), a 40-year-old professor, while they were in college. Their love is hampered by the dictates of a prejudiced society. The boyish chic in the group is Tonee (Kris Bernal). Evidently it is due from her upbringing by a lesbian couple. Things change when she meets Ryan, (Aljur Abrenico) a fellow call center trainee. The fashionista in the group is Bry. She is an aspiring model hoping for a better living. She has a live-in partner. One night, an incident made her depressed. She was comforted by Axel (John Prats), her regular cab driver. Axel has a secret crush on her.

Loving You is directed by Don Cuaresma and he sets it in the burgeoning world of the Business Process Outsourcing Industry. We had a glimpse of their lives in such an environment: we see them going to the office at night, taking lunch breaks past midnight, being accosted by fumed callers, and having drinking sessions in the early morning. It was nice to see these simple aspects of their lives. The director’s attempts to balance a love story within a particular social stratum have its own repercussions: it will be too vague or too somber. Unfortunately, Loving You is neither, as it is meandering into oblivion. If the call center surrounding has a prime importance to the story, it is expected to assess the impact of working in a tedious industry while their romantic engagements are progressing - not just mere love situations.

The liberation is a plus factor to the film. It’s engaging and gives a wider grasp for character’s response to delicate issues. The old-school harana is given a better twist though you might have not noticed it. When Ryan is waiting for a band practice, he plays his guitar while singing a self-composed song to Tonee. The ‘love fantasy’ element is much accounted for the film’s syrupy moments. Yes, a lot of it - sweetness in the rain, love proposals in public, marriage proposal in the office – and many more. For some it might look too cheesy. But a certain crowd will find it endearing.

I did like Bernal’s character and acting. She is bubbly, witty, charming and consistent. Garcia as the sophisticated forty-ish advertising manager is very sexy in that red backless evening dress. Apparently, Ravales is a call center trainer but needs more improvement in speaking English. The Garcia and Ravales love pair is a bit new to see in local movies in young romance films but their characters were flawed. Their peak scenes have dialogues that were like – speaking plunders of love. It is annoying. Prats is a bit odd to be a cab driver. Madrigal as his conquest is also odd. Her boobs might actually be bigger than him. I often confuse Abrenica for De Deyra as they look similar – apologies for I’m not a showbiz fanatic. Their names in the movie are so cool; you can’t spell them upon dictation. Kurdi and De Veyra are supposedly best friends but were caught to have special feelings with each other. It is disappointing to see a good character concept/situation executed in such a tremendously awful manner. These were young adults and they were expected to converse maturely. The script is simply lame. Even Kurdi looked constipated uttering those silly lines. It was a total disaster. And add the dubious dubbing to its blunders. Is this the new ‘tagalized’ tagalog film? Dubbing made easy to conceal all the slip-ups. Whether the film did it on purpose or through neglect, the same elements are still found wanting.

Love in any situation must be dealt with utmost sincerity. Because when you speak of love, it comes from the heart. I had all the kilig the film has to offer. But that’s about it.

Charlie Koon's Rating:

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