Cheesy Pizza


Perfect love does not exist. And if it did, Mother Nature will be so pissed; she will make a way to counteract it. The idea of perfect love is the premise of the film And I Love You So. The marriage between Lara and Oliver is shown in montage so as to hide their little dirty secret of unimpeachable love. But hey, five months is too long, as we too have seen so much, this has got to stop.

And so it did - good heavens. We do love to see people being forever ‘in-love’; redundancy is still not enough to accentuate this horrifying notion. Monotonous cuddling and those perfect cheesy pepperoni dialogues could make its way to a collection of flimsy love quotes. It’s a death-defying act just like what happened to Lara who at the age of twenty four has become a member of the widows support group. Her husband Oliver dies of an aneurysm a few months after their marriage. But life goes on as usual. But the writers (Vanessa Valdez and Jacqui Franquelli) are persistent. They want to use a story device that could test love and that is by mounting a good conflict.

The increasingly gorgeous Bea Alonzo plays Lara, a happily married pre-school teacher to a saintly but devilish looking husband Oliver played by Derek Ramsey. But the setup changes after Oliver dies exactly on Lara’s birthday. Seven months have passed, Lara still mourns on the death of her husband. She grows desperate as she needs money to pay for the condominium unit and the rental fee for her pre-school site. So she was advised by her brother-in-law to have her own condominium for rent. Then the story segues to another man named Chris (Sam Milby) who is quite liberated and does a lot of flirting.

It is a long row to hoe for Lara and to be convinced that she has other duties to fulfill is quite difficult. If you will notice, she talks about her husband in present tense. It is as if the departed and the living live side by side. And the film did it to an extent which could be a little spooky. But admirably, the risk it has done looks rather authentic and heart pounding. Surrealism is a crucial element in the film that gently interweaves exchanging of dialogues between Lara and the deceased Oliver. We could not guess if the dead has emotions. But if they do show some tenderness, we could not help but reciprocate it. But don’t freak out, ghosts have no tears.

The character of Chris is the ultimate seducer. The weeping beauty is the perfect victim nonetheless. But the catch is Chris did not make an offense. He might have been appreciative for other good things life could offer. Isn’t that startling from a sexually-driven man to articulate such a decent thought. That is also for you to find out. Anyway, Chris helps Lara to cope not just with the advance rental payments but something more personal. Lara needs someone that is her obverse, someone who is bold and lighthearted. Chris is the unfortunate prey. But soon the concealed intentions dissolves as there really is a potential for love to flourish through these two people.

If watching films in our recent years have been reduced as a commodity, then I won’t argue. It is almost unlikely that most of you could be convinced by critics to watch the greatest films that were actually made. I could not even let my own mother to watch Dogville, Andrei Rublev, Cries & Whispers, Rashomon, 400 Blows and not even Amelie for art’s sake. It’s easier to keep things to myself more so on serious matters. And I Love You So conjures up people’s fantasies. Its love could still be quite a mess but what would you expect from a grieving widow? It’s hard for her to be subtle but at some point she was able to compose her thoughts. She should be at an advantage since most would have depended on anti-depressants with that condition. And I Love You So is nicely written and direction by Laurenti Dyogi is fairly meritorious. I would not mind if people will flock to view it. If the love formula will be used again and again, I don’t mind either. That is why it’s called a formula.

Charlie Koon's Rating:

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