Disaster strikes every time photographer Rex (Coco Martin) finds tour guide Joey (Angeline Quinto) in a room. In fact, Joey spells calamity in capital letters. She bungles important moments in wedding receptions, vomits on Rex’s lap, falls underwater from a moving boat, and even impulsively slaps the irascible photographer. Rex wants nothing to do with Joey, until a lucrative corporate account throws them together.
Rex needs the dough. Besides, this will keep his fledgling studio afloat. Moreover, he has urgent bills to pay, and this account is crucial to the survival of his studio. Meanwhile, Joey is counting on this project for more clamorous reasons: his indigent – but happy – family is short on cash. Electricity’s been disconnected at home. If things turn out fine, this project could send her to Korea where she plans on finding her biological father.
After rescuing Joey from near drowning, their relationship evolves into something more amorous. The cat-and-mouse bickering soon turns into a more intimate relationship. Joey takes him home to meet her parents (she has a doting mother Dulce and a loving stepfather Tatay Yoyoy – played by Malu de Guzman and Al Tantay). While Joey opens her world to him, Rex is dismissive where his family is concerned. The burden of his past heavily straddles on his shoulders. When he was a child, his mother (Eula Valdez) packed her bags for a job overseas and never came back. What’s worse, she remarried, leaving Rex’s father (Tonton Gutierrez) a broken man. Fast forward to the present. Rex’s father is dead, and his mother’s new family moves back to Manila.
While Sylvia (Rex’s mother, Eula Valdez) tries hard to bridge the emotional chasm, Rex continues to withdraw himself away from his even-tempered stepfather (Albert Martinez) who’s an influential businessman. When Rex finds himself in a bind (he couldn’t pay his bills and his bank cheques bounce), he adamantly refuses their help. Things come to a head when he learns that he was, in fact, saved by the extended family he abhors. He makes a rabid escape oblivious of Joey’s pleas. Then a vehicular accident once more changes the course of events.
Director Jerome Chavez Pobocan's story moves with disjointed and uneven temperaments (yes, there are several here), fielding irrational characters with obvious affinity to mishaps. Moreover, the telenovela trappings of the back stories feel too contrived and manipulative, you might as well ride the roller coaster while they are piling up the narrative implausibilities.Why such discombobulating troughs and ebbs? The script is essentially a hodgepodge of formulaic strains admixed with a thousand and one dramatic contrivances. Let's throw in several ideas, they think. Some thing's bound to work, debah?. Well, it didn't!
Angeline Quinto fields an asperous performance. She traipses around in awkward, indeterminate moments, vacillating between the dramatic and the comic, but neither translates into anything vaguely sincere.
Some scenes are even worse, like when she just stares blankly where there should be emotions. Let's take a line for example: "Nararamdaman mo ba ang sinasabi ng puso ko?" (Say what?) "Wag mong tingnan ang wala sa yo. Tingnan mo kung anong meron ka!" Heavy stuff, right? But Quinto ends up with nothing but an emphatic delivery devoid of emotions. You might as well get a kalabasa and make it talk!
Coco Martin does better, although he is likewise hobbled by a burdensome script and his impasse with the English language: "May is-tep pa-der ka na!" "Pers taym mo, Predie?" Even some of his angry lines end up too cumbersome to empathize with. It's easy to lose sympathy because you have an inkling that Rex's pathological grief could be mental illness more than heartbreak. Ang OA eh! He desperately needed help and when he gets it, he turns away, and even huffs like an ingrate!
The problem here is, there are too many scriptwriters tweaking the story, thus focus is lost on divergent concepts stirring the film into everywhere but a logical unraveling of events. There are 2 (or 3) main writers and 6 script consultants, yet they come up with this pedestrian story?! It's almost unfathomable that eight heads worked on this rubbish. Such artistic destitution is getting more indisputable by the second!
Is this romcom? Light romance? Musical? Heavy drama? Existential movie? Try checking all. When Rex is seen standing on a cliff, gazing at a golden sky, you somehow get goosebumps because you knew this was the protracted version of a coffee commercial: Para kanino ka ba gumigising sa umaga? You crash your car on boulders and all you could ask is this fallacious question?
Apparently, the dingbats at the Cinema Evaluations Board (CEB) were tickled pink by such delusions because they rated this a B! What is an impressionable and simplistic group of twats doing in a board that's supposed to pick out gems from theatrical weeds? But maybe this film needs its 50% rebate. After all, when I watched it on a weekend, at a very prime time 7 PM, there were only seven souls populating the huge Galleria cinema! If you were to believe the television hype, you would think there was a pandemonium crowd queuing for this cinematic detritus. Well, there's seven souls and myself. There is justice after all.
|Coco Martin plays Rex Manrique|
|Angeline Quinto plays Joey: Can't even deliver a believable yawn!|