<script async src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js"></script> <!-- Showbiz Portal Bottom 1 300x250, created 10/15/10 --> <ins class="adsbygoogle" style="display:inline-block;width:300px;height:250px" data-ad-client="ca-pub-1272644781333770" data-ad-slot="2530175011"></ins> <script> (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); </script>
Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Aug 17, 2016

How To Be Yours Movie Review: Follows A Very Familiar Formula But Still Engaging Viewing

WE FINALLY GOT to see “How to Be Yours” on its last few days. We had to give priority to the Cinemalaya entries so we didn’t get to see it right away. This is the sixth film of Director Dan Villegas and he certainly has not disappointed us since he started in “Mayohan”, which gave Lovi Poe a Cinemalaya best actress award in 2010. It’s not as winning and endearing as “Walang Forever” or “Always Be My Maybe”, as it offers little in the way of ingratiating twists and surprises, but it’s still very engaging viewing.

The story is the usual formula of boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl, then they reconcile for the usual and obligatory happy ending. The only conflict here is one character has to choose which is more important: love or career? Bea is Anj, an aspiring chef, and Gerald Anderson is Niño, a chandelier salesman. Both currently unattached, they meet one Chinese New Year in Chinatown and there is instant attraction.

One thing leads to another, they start living in, but Bea gets an offer to fulfill her dream to be a top chef by studying for two years in Paris. Gerald doesn’t want her to go, but she chooses to go. They have a tearful parting. But right after that, we see them meeting again, and we are made to understand that several years have already passed.

They chance upon each inside a store and, once again, there’s apparent intense attraction between them. The magic is still there. So they hook up and get together again, because it’s unthinkable that such big stars will be splitting up for good (which was what happened in Gerald’s movie with former ka-love Kim Chiu, in “Till My Heartaches End” in 2010 and it flopped). The end.

In the hands of a less astute filmmaker, this now very familiar formula that goes from the usual point A to point B could have been such a big bore, especially for viewers who are used to plot-driven romances where there are big dramatic turns of events. It’s predictable but writer-director Dan Villegas certainly knows how to embroider his simplistic plot with humorous and touching scenes that resonate with valid observations about contemporary relationships.

Take note that Bea here is no longer the traditional Maria Clara in local films who’s never been touched, never been kissed. The first night of their meeting, she invites Gerald to her room with her clad only in her T-shirt and panties, but they just talk, not fuck. She’s the one who initiates here. And she’s the one who moves into Gerald’s condo so they can start living in.

The storytelling is leisurely paced, but never cumbersome because most of the scenes are well written, well directed and well acted. The film takes its sweet time to show the nuances on how the love story between the two leads builds up. There are scenes showing them just talking to each other, using po and opo that seem so cute on screen, sharing sweet romantic moments with one another.

There are also montage scenes (like the ones showing them repeatedly on the bed with one leaving for work and the other still sleeping) that show their slow drifting away from each other because of their conflicting skeds. Villegas treats everything with a light, easygoing touch, but without ever sacrificing character integrity, making it a simple story masterfully told.

Then there’s the undeniable, palpable chemistry between Bea and Gerald, two good looking mestizo actors (one has a British dad and the other, an American one) who certainly look good together. They’re both likeable and we really enjoy watching them on the big screen. The movie surely banks a lot on their individual and collective charm, aided and abetted by imaginative scenes Villegas cooks up and engineers for them, like the ethereal love scene when they finally undress and have sex and they do it amidst the glow and glimmer of chandeliers that surround them.

The film succeeds as a wonderful portrait of young people in love trying to balance romance and career, getting hurt, then getting healed. In the end, it shows that it rightfully understands that even ambitions and aspirations cannot completely untie the connection that a loving couple may have had experienced intimately before.