The first time Patrick (Coco Martin) sets his eyes on Jillian (Julia Montes) during a train ride, he couldn’t take his eyes off the cautious lass. But getting her name and meeting her were a different matter. The pretty lady is reticent with her associations, keeping mostly to her limited social circle. All she wants is to continue her studies in Amsterdam and forget a rather nebulous past.
Patrick pursues Jillian, painting her likeness on public walls and serenading the girl in her school. With such persistence, Jillian eventually gives in to Patrick’s unabashed romanticism. But unknown to Patrick, Jillian’s past isn’t so isolated from his. The young lad and his sister Mai (Ella Cruz) were orphaned three years ago when their Qatar-bound mother (Zsa zsa Padilla) was run over by a car.
What happens when Patrick finally strings their perplexing past? Will he be as gracious as his courting ways? More importantly, will he be magnanimous?
It’s refreshing to see a relaxed Coco Martin far from the teeth-gnawing rigor of melodrama. He embellishes his performance with pizzazz, imbuing the screen with wide grins and even a delightful song (Orange and Lemons’ “Umuwi Ka Na Baby”) and dance (oohlala!) scene. Julia Montes displays her considerable gravitas in a performance that becomes one of the greatest suffering heroines of the silver screen. She befittingly complements Martin’s charismatic romcom hero.
It could have been an interesting dissertation following its earlier premise: What indeed is the face of love? But this strain gets forfeited in the narrative ruble. We don't expect mainstream cinema to go further than cursory glimpses beyond philosophical musings.
Plot contrivances are inherent in local romcoms. Regardless, “A Moment in Time” is a harmless entertainment fodder that rightfully bestows a feather in the adorably lisping Coco Martin’s romcom cup.
As for Julia Montes, this German-Pinay beauty proves to her audience that her irrefutable boobtube success in the teleserye “Walang Hanggan” is no fluke. After all, it’s hard to argue with a full crowd who riddles the cinema atmosphere with romantic giggles. Let’s forget for a few minutes that getting a Schengen visa for a European sojourn isn't as easy – or as cheap as a P180,000 bank deposit - as they’d have you believe.
|Coco Martin bikes around Amsterdam's scenic countryside.|
|Julia Montes as Jillian Linden: stricken with guilt.|
|Coco Martin as Patrick becomes a full-fledged romcom hero.|