Movie Review: This Time (Starring James Reid and Nadine Lustre)


This Time
Starring James Reid and Nadine Lustre
Directed by Nuel Naval
Produced by Viva Films

Ava and Coby’s relationship has been defined by their memories every summer. Being the grandson of an Ambassador who is based in different countries, Coby (James Reid) only gets to spend time in the Philippines every summer. And when he meets Ava (Nadine Lustre) when they were still young, what started out as an innocent friendship turned into a complicated label-less relationship.

This movie was clearly made with JaDine fans in mind. While the story had its promise, they way it was told was somehow lacking in substance and depth. While they touched on the reasons that drive the characters’ decisions, it would have benefited the movie if they dug a bit deeper to actually make Ava and Coby more relatable. The conflict presented at the latter part of the film also somehow felt forced and unnecessary. I think it was added to put more emphasis on how time and distance can cause trouble in a relationship. I just thought that maybe that story could’ve been executed better. Or they could’ve just gotten a better actor than Bret Jackson.

But the undeniable chemistry between the reel-to-real love team of Reid and Lustre made this romantic-comedy very entertaining.

Close-up shots of Reid smiling and being all cute made the whole cinema swoon. And Nadine’s natural acting was endearing to watch.

I just hoped Viva Films treated this movie more seriously. There was really no need for animated Snapchat like effects. These actors are credible enough to show kilig. These cheap effects only ruined what could have been a romantic or corny-but-still-sweet scenes. I guess the trailer gave it away. Using a popular radio DJ as voice over somehow gave me an idea that they will inject as much humor as they can to this movie. Unfortunately, those effects didn’t work. They should’ve trusted their actors to effectively show the emotions.

And they should’ve just relied on the supporting characters for the laughs. Candy Pangilinan and Al Tantay were so effective in adding humor to their characters that it balances off the sometimes-overdramatic nuances of the lead characters. You know how the adults see the problems of teens as petty? It showed in the dynamics of Ava and her family. Where Ava sobs, the rest of the family laughs it off.

The scenes in Japan were also shot beautifully. The director was obviously inspired by the scenic spots and used to the location to add more drama and beauty to the emotions of the characters.

“This Time” is a very entertaining movie, one that makes anyone who watches it believe that Ava and Coby, and Nadine and James, are really in love. It isn’t the most well-thought out romantic comedy to come out of cinemas in recent years, but it certainly fulfills its promise: to provide summer kilig, especially to JaDine fans.



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