Movie Review: Starting Over Again

Starting Over Again Poster

Synopsis: Ten years ago, Ginny (Toni Gonzaga), an Architecture student, and Marco (Piolo Pascual), a History professor, began a one-of-a-kind and unpredictable love story. In the five years that they were together, they brought out the best in each other, which included Marco’s unrealized dream of becoming a chef. Together, they worked towards their dream of opening up a restaurant, but when Ginny realized her own pursuits were different from his, she rejected his wedding proposal and left the country for a Masters degree in Architecture. At present, Ginny co-owns a one-stop Architecture and Interior Design firm specializing in Restoration. She receives an email from Marco, which was written and sent after their break-up, meant to be read four years later. It makes her feel even more regretful of leaving the love of her life. When their firm receives an offer to restore an old house into a restaurant, she is ecstatic to learn that Marco will be co-owning the restaurant. She takes this as a sign that this will be their second chance they need, but finds out that Marco wants the restaurant ready for his wedding proposal to his US-based girlfriend, Patty De Guia (Iza Calzado). This doesn’t stop Ginny from accepting the project in the hopes of winning back Marco, now very different from the man he used to be. When he learns her motives, he plays along to push her regrets and show that he is much better now. But their actions take a toll on them when they talk about the past, feelings start to get involved, and Patty begins to get suspicions about the two. Can mistakes and wrong decisions be undone to give way to a second chance? Will Ginny get her happy ending with Marco, or is she four years too later?

Let me start this review by saying that Starting Over Again, Star Cinema’s Valentine’s Day movie for 2014, is by far my favorite romantic-comedy (dramedy?) from the movie outfit so far. It is the movie I have been hoping for years that Star Cinema would do. While the scenes leading up to the ending bordered on being corny, it still was far better than all the endings they ever did in any of their romantic-comedy movies in recent history.

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The film managed to make me feel happy, in love, distraught and desperate, just like the film’s characters.

It tells the story of Ginny who tirelessly did everything to win the heart of Marco. And after three years of what Marco thought was a good relationship, Ginny left for reasons unknown to Marco. Fast forward to a 4 years after, Ginny is tirelessly doing everything to win Marco’s heart…again. But it proved to be harder because of Patty, Marco’s new girlfriend.

The film tackled what people should do while in a relationship. It speaks volumes about the importance of communication and honesty and trust.

It somehow reminded me of Toni’s last film, My Amnesia Girl, minus the fake, and then real, amnesia.

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The film looks so fresh and young with the use of vibrant colors and crisp photography. The film was visually pleasing to the eye from the start till the end of the film.

As far as acting performances went, I was totally amazed with Iza’s elegant, sophisticated and quiet approach to her character which was completely in contrast to Toni’s loud and out there character. But I guess Iza did not have a hard time portraying the role since I see her exactly like that as an artist.

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Toni Gonzaga also gave a solid performance. Romantic-comedy is really her niche. Her dramatic scenes were not that effective but because of the overall emotion of the film, I was still somewhat moved during the scenes.

Piolo was effective in his kilig moments. His eyes would really melt you and make you fall in love with him. I never liked him before but after watching this film, I am a fan. But he lacked emotions during the more dramatic scenes. I may not b e giving an objective comment though since I always have the John-Lloyd-Cruz-Standard-For-Dramatic-Scenes in my mind every time I watch a Filipino film.

My friend asked me on Twitter if the movie is good. I told her that it ties with “One More Chance” in my list of good movies. Quotable quote-wise, One More Chance is still unopposed, but Starting Over Again also has its fair share of great lines. Here are my favorites:

  • Kamukha niya si Mama Mary!
  • I know him. Of course.
  • Tang ina, Ginny!
  • Lumaklak ka ng reyalidad!
  • I’m sure Ginny will give me my space. Right, Ginny?
  • How do I unlove you?

I only have two not-so-good things to say about the film.

First, there was still a typical Star Cinema twist that is sadly,not executed well. You’ll know it when you see it.

And second,what’s up with the wigs? And what’s the deal with Star Cinema and wigs! I really don’t get it. I’m sure there are natural-looking wigs out there and Star Cinema is a rich enough film outfit to afford them. So why keep using wigs that looks awkward and downright ugly?

Overall, I really liked the film and I am willing to watch it again and again. It has the best ending ever (so far)!

Here is the full trailer of the film:

All photos courtesy of Star Cinema

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