20 August 2007 | jemps918
Finally, a mainstream Filipino flick that experiments with non-linear storytelling, uses an excellent cast (not reliant on the upcoming star of the moment), and doesn't insult the moviegoers' intelligence with overly explicit explanations.
Direk Maryo J. de los Reyes does an excellent job with A Love Story: the plot is complex enough to hold a more discerning audience's attention. The sound engineering was consistently solid, the wardrobe and make-up were expressive of the characters' personalities, and the acting was mostly spot-on. The cinematography is subtly symbolic, thoughtful and well-motivated. The first establishing shot is a bird's-eye view of the Alabang Town Center fountain, done ala Gaudi with fragmented tile pieces, foreshadowing the movie's theme of broken relationships, and ends with the lead characters walking over a rocky shore.
Ian Montes (played to the hilt by Aga Muhlach) is the classic Pinoy male who feels he's God's gift to women; unlike most men of this strutting ilk, at least he comes equipped with dimples, a well-maintained bod and makes oodles of money. Joanna (sympathetically performed by Maricel Soriano) is the doctor who finds new love in Ian after recuperating from a cheating husband and showers him with attention. Karyn (believably portrayed by Angelica Panganiban) is the stewardess that Ian is drawn to because of her youthful spontaneity. The characters are complex and offer facets the audience can relate to.
Absurdly fascinating yet true is how these independent, strong-willed women are reduced to mindless martyrs whenever the object of their affection throws another testosterone-filled tantrum. What is ridiculous is while both women are shown to have depth beyond their looks (which is supposed to complicate the choice further); there is nothing beyond the superficial that Ian offers other than what is apparently great sex. His father's words of wisdom apparently did not impress upon him: Flowers are like women; do not pick a flower if you will just throw it away. You have to take care of it because there will never be another one like it again. There is nothing more satisfying than right triumphing over wrong, no matter how difficult. Those who indulge in adultery really set themselves up for inevitable pain. This is really a good example of while we all have a choice, it takes two to tango! All in all, a good movie, but if I had to nitpick, I'd change the title (why in English? And why so plain and non-descript?). Some of the supporting cast could've been reconsidered because they were painful to watch (Karyn's bestfriend/fellow stewardess was OA, Karyn's OB-Gyne and her son Jacob were also camera-conscious), some minor technical flaws (what must be a handsfree microphone set is visibly tucked behind Maricel's jeans; the reflection of the hand holding the non-glare shield is visible on the windshield in the scene where Karyn is sitting in her car). Also, cut out the draggy parts and reshoot some of Angelica's speaking lines in English because they distract from the dialogue. And okay, rehashing the Joey Albert song "Tell Me" is cheesy with literal lyrics as a compromise-trademark of Filipino films, which could've been tolerated except whenever it played in the movie and the lady beside me would burst into heartfelt song. Each time!