‘Kita Kita’ Review [POSSIBLE SPOILERS]


I’m a sucker for romantic comedy films and for the better part of the film, I was laughing and rooting for the leads’ love story.  But as the film revealed how the story of Tonyo (Empoy Marquez) and Lea (Alessandra de Rossi) came to be, I could not help but be troubled and disturbed.  All the romance and magic I felt during the early parts of the film suddenly vanished.

I was bothered and creeped out.  And I still do not understand how those gestures got romanticized and somehow accepted as gestures made by someone who is in love with and cares deeply for the other person.

The first part of the film felt overly dramatic but I understood that it was presented as the the foundation of the lead’s story.  Those sequences made us root for Lea’s eventual happiness.

And we were rooting for her.  But I, along with my fellow cinema goers at SM Mall of Asia, were rooting more for Tonyo.  How he tirelessly pursued Lea until he caught her attention and eventually her love.  How he showed her true friendship in the middle of what could have been a very depressing moment in Lea’s life.

Empoy was really charming and funny as Tonyo, who wanted to show Lea that she could still live her life as she pleases; that she could move forward from her tragic relationship and her temporary blindness.

But what happened at the final third of the movie was downright creepy.  When the film started to show Tonyo’s side of the story, I was wishing that my guess wasn’t true.  But it was.  Tonyo’s gestures leading up to him being with Lea could be considered as some of our parents’ worst nightmares.  One could say that Tonyo was obsessed with Lea.  And after learning all that, I could not bring myself to admire Tonyo’s so-called “love” for her.

No amount of charming acting or stunning visual would be enough to mask this disturbing backstory.

Just like the movie’s premise,  ‘Kita Kita’  was a good film only while the viewer is still blinded by the limits of how far someone can go just to be with the person he likes.


Movie Review: Always Be My Maybe: The Least Star Cinema-like Rom-Com, and That is a Good Thing


I had low expectations when I decided to watch Always Be My Maybe. For one, I was not really sold on the lead actors, Gerald Anderson and Arci Muñoz. Also, director Dan Villegas’ film prior this one, Walang Forever, failed to really live up to its promise (or my expectations, really). The story just sagged during the latter part of the film.

Always Be My Maybe follows the story of two persons having a hard time moving on from failed relationships. And what started out as a simple friendship spiraled to a more complicated, no-label pseudo-relationship.

What I loved most about the film was how chill the story was. There was no need for an out-of-this-world cheesy gimmick, which I feel is a formula for a typical Star Cinema rom-com.

The pacing of the whole story was not rushed. There was no pressure to cover so many aspects of their lives that sometimes could make the audience feel tired. That was what I felt when I watched Walang Forever.

I fell in love with Muñoz because of this film. She gave the right amount of funny, sexy and cheesy in her acting. I really felt sad and bad for her character. Her acting reminds me so much of Jennylyn Mercado’s. It was so natural I sometimes forgot that she was just acting.

There was also a suprising chemistry between Anderson and Munoz. There was one particular scene that showed their sexy side, which was done tastefully. Although I must admit that it made me a little uncomfortable, like such scene did not belong to a rom-com film.

Cacai Bautista brought most of the laughs, what with her timely banters. I  generally do not like the fact the Filipino movies are filmed a couple of months before its showing date, but it worked for this movie. They were able to insert jokes that are still being used in real life.

Never mind the fact that there was one scene dedicated to promoting ABS-CBN’s latest teleserye, Dolce Amore. The director was able to put enough story and relevance in that scene that it didn’t bother me as much.

I can say that I haven’t enjoyed a Filipino rom-com this much since English Only, Please (which was also helmed by Dan Villegas).

It just started its run in theaters on February 24. You have lots of time to see this film. And please do. For a mainstream Star Cinema movie, it delivers a relevant story, likable acting, and just a pure good time.

All in all, I was just really thankful that the ending was as realistic as a Star Cinema movie can get.

Rating: 4/5 stars


Movie Review: The PreNup

Jennylyn Mercado may have very well found her niche in the movies. I have watched most of her films and before English Only, Please, I have recalled of her underutilized talent via Rosario, a Metro Manila Film Festival entry from a few years back.

She has won an award in English Only, Please. Now, I am no expert in the acting industry, but I felt like what sealed the deal for her was how natural she acted her character.

And that same thing happened in Regal Films’ latest romantic comedy film The PreNup, starring Mercado alongside Sam Milby and directed by Jun Robles Lana (who previously directed films such as Bwakaw and The Barber’s Tales).

The film showed a lot of promise in the first half of the movie and while its fast-paced plot may be faulted by some, but it was carried very well by the two lead actors.The PreNup

With the cinematic busy city of New York as the background, it actually felt natural how Mercado’s and Milby’s characters fell for each other.

Where the movie started feeling flat was when they went back to the Philippines for their wedding.

I got a feeling that the writers were so inspired writing the US part of the movie and came up with witty lines and banters between the two lead characters. And somehow, they left all that wit and creativity in the Big Apple. None of that snappy albeit cheesy lines were present in the latter part of the film. I even heard someone inside the cinema that the lines were baduy.

It also did not help that there were a lot of unnecessary comedic scenes. And unfortunately, most of them were not even funny. Jaclyn Jose as the stereotypical overprotective, rich mother of Milby and Melai Cantiveros as the jaded sister of Mercado were both over acting and it got annoying quite easily.

Mercado’s character was surrounded by gay characters, which could’ve been portrayed by more convincing actors. Most of the time, they were two stiff and “macho” (for the lack of a better term) for the supposedly type of gay men they portray that their acts came of as some sort of mockery.

The movie also fell to the formulaic ending of Filipino mainstream romcoms. And it felt like the director just wanted the film to end already, getting rid of at least the kilig a romcom movie is supposed to make its audience feel.

Indeed, the movies strongest trait is its lead actors, and thankfully, their performances were enough for the audience to enjoy the film overall.

Rating: ☆☆☆