Tuesday, March 3, 2009

You Changed my Life

"you changed my life in a moment,
and i'll never be the same again!"

that line, is one of my favorite line in the song, You Changed my Life, this is the theme song of the sequel movie of Sarah Geronimo and John Lloyd Cruz, their first movie was A Very Special Love.

i was looking forward to seeing this movie because i really like the 1st one, so last friday, me and my Honey watched this movie at Market-Market.

The film picks up where the last movie left off. Migs Montenegro and Laida Magtalas (John Lloyd Cruz and Sarah Geronimo) are now in a committed relationship, and are deliriously happy. But six months into their relationship, Migs gets promoted and sent to Laguna to manage his family’s industrial laundry business. Migs quickly realizes that he’s bitten off more than he can chew, and soon finds himself having trouble keeping his workforce happy. The long hours and added responsibility keep Migs from spending time with Laida, who begins to feel that she’s not getting enough out of their relationship. As Migs struggles with the pressure, and Laida begins to feel abandoned, the two are finding it difficult to find reasons to stay together.

The first act of this movie is still pretty rough. In a mad rush to remind audiences of everything that was in the first film, the movie rapidly goes through some clunky exposition and does an encore of all the kilig stunts that gave the last movie its identity. But then the film turns a corner, and it begins a process of deconstructing the relationship and really developing the characters. Laida finally reveals her flaws, subtle as they are, and Migs stumbles head-on to making wrongheaded decisions about their business. And suddenly the stunts don’t work, and their love is tested in a fairly realistic manner. And as they’re forced to make more mature decisions, their relationship actually begins to mean something.

The film still leans on some of its old tricks, and some things still come too easy. A subplot about an old friend of Laida’s (Rayver Cruz) largely leads nowhere, and only sets up a bunch of artificial conflicts for the couple. But for the most part, it feels like an active effort was made to earn the movie’s sentiment. Genuine character development takes the place of empty romantic gestures, and that’s the critical difference between this movie and the last. There’s this strange acknowledgement that romantic stunts may not really be a good basis for a strong relationship, and that both these characters needed to grow up and have something more than an empty, cutesy love for them to flourish as a couple and as their own person. I complained last time about how the relationship could never justify what Migs went through with his family. Here, the stronger part of the story, Migs’ familial issues, becomes the catalyst for making the relationship something greater than it was. And the difference in effect is startling.

Technically, the film’s taken a slight step back. It feels a little more rushed than usual, and the overall look of the film suffers for it. Some scenes fare better than others, but inconsistent color grading and gain plague the project. Some scenes could’ve used more coverage, as well. The cast remains largely the same. John Lloyd Cruz has his ups and downs, and when it counts, he delivers. Sarah Geronimo goes a lot larger with the goofiness in this film, which can be distracting, but she makes up for it in the smaller scenes. There’s really an honesty to her performances that’s endearing, and I think it’s about time that we get her into more serious roles. Rayver Cruz works well enough in his role, though he does feel a bit shoehorned in. For my money, the best thing in this cast is Rowell Santiago, who hits exactly the right notes in his softer scenes, providing the film with much of its real emotional punch.

For me, the movie was good and it did everything for me to love this 2nd movie, just as i loved the 1st one.

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