My notes on The Achy Breaky Hearts:
1. More than Valentine’s Day, I think the annual family reunion is the ultimate source of pain and trauma in any single person’s life. There will always be that one snooty aunt that will ask you the age-old question of “Kelan ka mag-aasawa?”, like your being single is a source of shame for the entire clan that they want to immediately sweep under the rug. On the flip side, you can view it positively that they only ask out of love because they don’t want you to end up as an old maid. A shameful old maid that they want to lock up in the basement, away from the prying eyes and loose lips of neighbors. Sigh.
2. The first few minutes of the movie smartly tackled this perceived dilemma of single women. Can one truly be alone and happy? Does Gabriela revoke your feminist card if you still long for someone that you can clutch onto while watching a horror movie in a cinema (especially one packed with lovers)? Is it wrong to admit the feeling of sadness even if you’re toasting independence with your other single amigas?
3. Jodi Sta. Maria was perfect in the role of Chinggay because she was able to easily convey these mixed feelings, even when the movie started to default to a typical Star Cinema rom-com. The best scene involved an iyak-tawa moment of her dancing to Sasakyan after getting her heart broken yet again. She may drink a lot of Anlene, but she still gets weak in the knees when it comes to boy problems.
Also, although Chinggay was a successful jewelry store manager, she still seemed very submissive to the two men in her life. I wonder when Jodi will play an actual tough careerwoman that wouldn’t require her to call a man “Sir” every ten seconds.
4. I really abhor voiceovers that feel intrusive and basically explain the characters’ feelings and motives. Show us, don’t tell us. If an effective narrator is really needed, then please refer to Jane the Virgin.
5. I almost died from kilig in the scene where Ryan (Ian Veneracion) removed the ring from Chinggay’s finger using his mouth, but there were two thoughts that immediately countered that feeling: 1) my grandmother told me that you should never remove another person’s ring because you’ll end up becoming enemies, and 2) GERMS!!
6. I have always been #TeamTisoy ever since All You Need is Pag-ibig (they even tried to recreate that movie’s charming Bilanggo sing-along, but it just wasn’t as effective here). Besides, ex-boyfriend Frank (Richard Yap) looked like her father, was a bit malamya, and talked like a wooden spoon. He was no match to the vampiric looks of Ryan that made three women collapse from their seats when the camera zoomed on his sleeping face. (Speaking of, I was happy to see that Ian sweats a lot like any human being. But then again his sweat might actually smell like Clinique Happy, dammit!)
7. Was that really a De Luxe room in Victoria Court? The faux gold and matching thunderstorms looked like a Premiere Off Beat room. No, I’m not a suki. Please don’t be judgmental.
8. Here are some more burning questions:
• Kelangan talaga meron mini-commercial ng Jolly Spaghetti where Chinggay can reminisce about her childhood? Or a Flanax scene that rivaled the Biogesic cameos in all the John Lloyd Cruz movies?
• Why didn’t she clean her bag? How long was that expired condom in there?
• Was Marion Aunor the only Star Records artist? (To be fair, most of her songs were really good.) Let me rephrase, was Marion Aunor the only good Star Records artist?
• Did you really expect us to believe that Ryan’s character knew the lyrics of Sasakyan by heart?
• Did they use the exact same locations (restaurants) in You’re My Boss and Everything About Her, among others?
• Why couldn’t Ryan take Chinggay to the real Paris? (Please don’t tell me that a Ducati owner like him was just being a cheapskate.)
9. Jodi looked really good, but she also needed some chapstick. There were also times when I wanted to feed her a cookie.
10. Special hugot quotes for my single friends:
• “Next time wag tayo tatanga-tanga sa investment.”
• “Ang love hindi para sa mga duwag o tamad. Ang love hinahanap at pinaglalaban.”
• “Kapag nagmamahal, nasasaktan. Pero kapag nasasaktan, ang mahalaga lumilipas.”
• “Ang pagmamahal hindi nawawala. Pero hindi porke’t mahal mo, para sa ‘yo.”
11. Shamaine Buencamino could play all of Star Cinema’s mother roles and I would never complain.
12. As expected, the ending was a cop-out. I would have been happy even if she didn’t choose between the two and the movie ended with a close-up of her single-blessedness face, but then it decided to tack on this hopeful ending negating every single platitude delivered by the voiceover.
Seriously, just because it didn’t introduce a twin or a doppelganger in the end didn’t mean that the movie was being brave. Teka lang muna wait, Star Cinema…