LOVE, ROSIE (Christian Ditter, 2014)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Love, Rosie:

1. This movie was based on Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern, the same author of P.S. I Love You that was also adapted into a movie starring Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler. Although completely different in treatment, they now both serve as guilty pleasures.

2. I loved the excessive use of pop songs that highlighted each turning point in the characters’ lives. Elvis Costello’s I’ll Never Fall in Love Again, Beyonce’s Crazy in Love, Elton John’s Tiny Dancer, Lily Allen’s F*ck You (Very Much), KT Tunstall’s Suddenly I See. Heck, even Asereje by Las Ketchup finally meant something. C’mon, I’m sure you still know the dance steps to this one.

3. The movie could be easily faulted as cliched and contrived and these were true to some extent. It was a gorgeously-shot Richard Curtis rom-com with the requisite (predictable) happy ending stinking a mile away.

4. Lily Collins was just too charming here. She anchored the entire film and prevented it from being completely silly even if she was required to run around handcuffed to a bedpost. Or had to spread her legs to find a missing condom.

5. I know the main cast looked really good but a decade supposedly passed and they didn’t seem to have aged a bit. Unless having thicker eyebrows actually meant you were older.

6. Why are some people so stupid to make the biggest mistake of falling in love with their best friend? Haven’t they learned anything from Budjoy?

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published January 14, 2015.)

MAMA’S GIRL (Connie Macatuno, 2018)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Mama’s Girl:

1. I think it was Maricel Soriano in T2 who held the record for the most number of times that a Pinoy character mentioned another character’s name in the entire duration of a movie. My ears were bleeding by the nth time she screamed “Angeli!”.

I thought that I would suffer the same fate while watching this one. Every time Mina (Sylvia Sanchez, transitioning from Nay to Mama) would mention “Abbypotpot”, I would cringe and just wanted to crawl in a fetal position. It wasn’t merely annoying, the unnecessary repetition rendered the inauthenticity of this term of endearment.

2. Should I feel like a monster for not appreciating a movie that showcased the undying love of a mother? One where Mama Mina actually pulled a Bea Alonzo as The Incredible Hulk in She’s The One and singlehandedly changed a flat tire in the rain?

I’d put the blame on Abbypotpot (Sofia Andres), a character devoid of empathy because she was just so stubborn, selfish, ungrateful, and acted like the biggest privileged B (I meant brat, by the way). And that was even before her mother’s death so there was just no excuse for her terrible attitude.

3. Or maybe it was because this one completely ripped off P.S. I Love You, one of my most-watched post-breakup comfort movies. I thought of it first when she started seeing her dead mother doing normal things while dispensing life lessons, but it was made more obvious when it was revealed that said mom also left a box of five letters with carefully written instructions that she needed to follow step-by-step. Pati voiceover kuhang-kuha at kulang na lang talaga si Gerard Butler. So much for originality.

4. Part of the box’s contents was a set of index cards that had the secret recipes of Mama Mina’s successful Pasta House. I wasn’t sure why she didn’t make habilin before her death, especially if said recipes could make or break her pasta empire. Wouldn’t it have been easier to teach in person the proper way to slice tomatoes or how big each meatball should be? If she had time to write each note, surely she could have found an hour for a quick kitchen tutorial.

5. I wasn’t surprised when the restaurant business crumbled after her death. None of her staff knew that they were serving items that were considered panis (“Maasim na daw po yung lasa”). Seriously, only Mama Mina would know if something was spoiled already? Not even the chef/cook tasted the food before it went out of the kitchen? And to make matters worse, the solution they came up with to pacify these complaints was to offer a complimentary cake. Sana hindi rin panis diba?

6. I think this would be the fifth film that starred Jameson Blake that I had seen in a span of one year, but definitely no complaints here. As Zak, a supposedly famous rock star slash cheating ex-boyfriend of Abbypotpot, his scenes were usually punctuated by drum sounds for added effect (“It’s over!” Drum sounds. “Slap!” Drum sounds.)

At least he could play a rock in his next film and I would pay to watch it without any reservations.

7. For a story about motherly love, there was too much time spent on the landian between Abbypotpot and best friend Nico (Diego Loyzaga). He kept calling her Budz and I really thought it was short for Budjoy because they were basically playing the reversed roles of Ned and Budjoy in Labs Kita Okay Ka Lang?. Unfortunately, I was rooting for Zak the entire time.

8. While other mothers would ask their kids not to cry upon their death, Mama Mina’s loving advice to Abbypotpot was “Hindi pa ako patay. Tipirin mo na lang ang mga luha mo sa libing ko.” Eek!

9. Sofia’s a lovely girl, but the abundance of her pink blush here gave new meaning to pumuputok. At least she looked very much like a #VavaengMarangal.

10. Upon reading the words “Ang pagluluto ay parang pagmamahal. Kelangan bantayan at kapag hindi ka marunong pumili ng mga sangkap, lahat mababalewala”, Abbypotpot magically turned into a chef that could save their restaurant business. Nahiya bigla ang lahat ng Culinary Arts students.

Kelangan lang pala mag-practice to the tune of With a Smile. Pasok Reese Lansangan. “Lurft yer herd, bheybee durn’t buhr scurred…”

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

LONDON HAS FALLEN (Babak Najafi, 2016)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on London Has Fallen:

1. I always feel a certain sense of pride whenever the Philippines is mentioned in foreign movies or TV shows. I felt the exact same way when this one started, even if the country was actually getting bombed. Talk about Pinoy Fried.

2. Gerard Butler played Mike Banning, a Secret Service agent slash US President’s bodyguard. They should have reconsidered his job because places kept falling everywhere he went. He was supposedly so protective that he installed 6 CCTV cameras in his future baby’s nursery when 1 monitor would have sufficed. Expect another sequel: Baby Has Fallen.

3. You know you’re watching a silly action-fantasy when the great Morgan Freeman only plays Vice-President. Sure, his speaking voice resonates better in a room full of top-tier government personnel rather than screaming for his dear life, but you never ever place God second in command. (Also, the Canadian Prime Minister here was not hot. Pure fantasy.)

4. When a newsperson announced that the British PM’s funeral was the “most protected event on Earth”, you immediately knew this wasn’t true, otherwise there wouldn’t be a movie. Besides, Butler was attending so it was expected that major London landmarks will fall and they all did, in so-so CGI fashion. (Insert London Bridge is falling down joke here.)

5. Gratuitous according to Google Dictionary meant uncalled for, lacking good reason, and unwarranted. It was the perfect description for all of the violence here (multiple headshots, people getting rammed against walls or hit by trucks), although the same could be said about the sequel itself.

6. I had always thought that London was such a rich city but when the power went out, none of the buildings had emergency lights. I guess they never really experience brownouts/blackouts so they were not as prepared as Pinoys (with a cupboard full of lanterns, candles, and matches).

Speaking of, could anyone confirm that there was a supposed Three Days of Darkness in the 80’s where the Lord was supposed to walk the streets and people were not allowed to look so they should have covered windows with soot and charcoal and everyone started to panic-buy emergency supplies since they couldn’t get out of their houses? Please tell me I had not gone crazy.

7. In one scene, Banning asked US President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) to get out of the crashed helicopter since it could explode any time. In the succeeding scene, Banning stepped out of the rubble and President Asher was just standing next to the chopper. No wonder he needed a lot of protecting.

8. A million flying bullets, a helicopter crash, a vehicle that flipped multiple times, and a fall in a shallow shaft did no bodily harm (not even one broken bone!) on Banning. He was unbreakable as a one-man SWAT with supposedly witty one-liners (copyrighted by Cesar Montano tbh). Pure bollocks! Why didn’t they make a video game instead? I probably would have enjoyed that.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆