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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jul 5, 2015

Movie Review: 'I Love You, Thank You' - A Love Story About Gay Men Very Well Acted By Its Four Major Leading Characters

'I LOVE YOU. THANK YOU' is an entry in the ongoing World Premieres Filmfest in SMCinemas. It's a film about gays but it's not the typical gay film with sizzling scenes showing two guys making love with each other. There's a shower scene but it's very tame compared to other pink films we've seen before. It dwells more on the emotions of the characters in an engaging story about unrequited love, which can happen even to heterosexuals.

Joross Gamboa is Paul, a Filipino working as a teacher in Bangkok. His best friend Ivan (CJ Reyes) is also working in Bangkok and lives in with Red (Prince Stefan). He's actually in love with Red, who is obsessed with Ivan. He suddenly becomes restless, resigns from his job and wanders aimlessly in Siem Reap, Cambodia where he meets a Thai porn writer, Tang (Ae Pattawan).

They have an affair but Paul is not ready to commit and returns to Bangkok. Meantime, Ivan suddenly leaves Red, who is crushed and tries committing suicide by slashing his wrist. Paul saves him, declares his love for him, but it is unreciprocated. In the end, no one ends up with anyone, so those who are suckers for happy endings will surely be disappointed. But the progression of the narrative and the heartbreaking journey each character undertakes is very well chronicled.

The film works since all the actors do well in their respective roles, especially Joross who gives an excellent portrayal as the lovelorn lead character. He downplays the homosexuality but embraces it so effectively that it'll make you think he must really be gay. We just love the gentle way he brushes his hair with his hand to betray his effeminacy. Writer-director Charliebebs Gohetia must have personally gone through the experiences of love and pain his characters experience in the course of the film. He gets excellent support from Stefan (who can be wonderfully irrational in his obsession for Reyes), Patawan (whose scenes with his senile grandpa is very touching) and CJ Reyes (who acts quite well and has matinee idol good looks and should be seen more often.)