A Different Approach

Kiss me! Kiss me!

While I was watching You Changed My Life, a part of me was saying; the film nailed it once more. But then again, my stomach was twinging. It is like eating a sackful of gummy bears until one ends up vomiting a rainbow of empty calories. Yet I am still in high spirits. That could be the effect of this film. Seriously, what I did like in this is that they were able to sustain the charm of the story from the first installment. I am very particular with the narrative as I don’t want to gauge the futile kilig machinations as the prime strength. I am relieved that the film outfit did not exploit or even took advantage of the susceptibility of the audience towards these kinds of films. You Changed My Life is the second installment of the box-office film A Very Special Love directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina.

I was like a sponge with the reactions of the crowd I encountered. It is a surprise to see some guys trying to conceal their delight on certain scenes. The premise is not tacky. Laida (Sarah Geronimo) is fetched by Miggy (John Lloyd Cruz) for their first official date. Once Miggy stepped out of his SUV, jeez, the overall response from the ladies was deafening. And mind you, it is not the premiere screening I saw. It was during the lazy hours of the day and the theatre was just about to explode with people. The sundown screenings I guess might have caused an insurrection. Their rendezvous is set in atop a hill in Batangas while fireworks were set in the skies.

Aside from the fact that love has already been established, the story gradually revolves into the reality of social responsibilities, family affairs, and gender roles in the relationship of the two. It is observed that there is a contrast in the personalities of the characters. The candid Laida is constantly jovial while the serious Miggy is a bit temperamental. It is not exactly a clash of personalities as what mostly happens in romcom flicks. It tilted from this usual conflict and used another spectrum of issues that could be the obstacle for the love story. I know only a few joyless sociopaths will dislike this movie. The concoction of kilig is unashamedly determined to give out what the audience has wanted in the first place. It is of course executed adequately by both Geronimo and Cruz.

On the technical merits the film has presented, I think their major improvement is in terms of the long takes of the climax in the film. It transcends the true emotions of the character and it is proof of how these actors could shell out their superiority in the acting category. True enough, mainstream films’ major advantage in terms of cinematography is that, the night scenes are amazingly executed. And I have also noticed that the musical scoring has been lessened in scenes that need directed focus on pure emotions. It did certainly transcend and it is quite an improvement for Filipino’s compulsive proclivity towards musical fabrication.

In addition to the conflict of the story, Mackoy (Rayver Cruz) is an addition to the casting. He is the long lost best friend of Laida. It is astonishing on how they coated Mackoy’s character in the story such that he has a certain feel of authenticity. He did not come to give a full blast twist to the happy relationship of Laida and Miggy. But instead, he symbolizes a person that is sensitive to the feelings of others. He also embodies the people who might have certain regrets in the past and is trying to make amends. He could have been a good boyfriend nonetheless if he did not leave Laida before.

You Changed My Life lives up to its promise of a light romantic comedy. There are more kilig sequences and the dramatic scenes are just sufficient. It is a well-balanced aspect and even employs great skill in creating the story. As for the love insights the film has shown, I sensed that the audience could relate to it in different ways. Love compels us to be patient and to be kind. I think Laida has shown to us that her patience is quite not enough and her decision skills might be too harsh to her loved ones. It is a lesson she has dutifully learned. Through Miggy’s plight to get the approval of his father and his half-brother and to ameliorate his status from fleckless bastard to successful, trustworthy bastard, he pushed himself up and is stacked with his priorities in life. The best part of the story is that they were able to understand each other. They have resolved their issues not in a turgid way of thinking. But with careful intonations that relationships entail compromise. We can still achieve what we want and be loved in the way our hearts desire. But these things get tougher as we go deeper in loving someone.

You Changed My Life will be adored by most people. I have seen their reactions and they totally enjoyed the film. But watch out for the kilig assortment the film is contrived with. But please, do it infrequently in real life. These characters are special in the eyes of an audience seeking enjoyment. Love is not just kilig dear people. It is just a fleeting emotion. Laida did get tired. And there might be different ways to pump-up a relationship that is worth saving.

Charlie Koon's Rating:


Alex Milla said...

The power of love... The populist formula of Filipino romance has become, for better or for worse, dangerously wholesome. The kilig factor as a box office force is drilled into the gray matter of the euphoric majority. I’m sure the third film will cure the recession and make pigs fornicate in the sky. . .no penetration. The title will probably be “Forever’s not enough, For the Greatest Love of All: A Couple’s Guide to Cryogenic Stasis”.

Charlie Koon said...

hahaha. alex, check zafra's site. http://jessicarulestheuniverse.com/2009/02/28/when-plot-falters-give-them-another-close-up-of-john-lloyd/

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