My notes on Dear Other Self:
1. As the great Basha Belinda Eugenio once said, “I want to stop wondering ‘what if’. I want to know ‘what is’.”
And so I assumed that after countless viewings of One More Chance (or probably Sliding Doors), Rebecca/Becky (Jodi Sta. Maria) imagined a world of infinite possibilities with the question, “What if hindi nangyari yung moment that changed your life? Nasaan ka na ngayon?”.
2. Would she be like Becky, a financially stable corporate slave trying to find love in the workplace? In this fantasy world, she experienced the following:
• Had a good night’s sleep because of a brownout that stopped the loud videoke session of a neighbor (this probably happened prior to global warming when people could easily sleep without an electric fan or airconditioning)
• Rode a bike to work because she would rather pay for expensive coffee than get an Uber (how she remained fresh with all the city’s smog was never explained, though)
• Presented a winning sales pitch to a client using three Powerpoint slides and was awarded a car for her great work (wait, how did she learn how to drive?)
• Developed a workplace romance with Chris, played by Joseph Marco who delivered his lines like a doctor trying to tell a patient that he had terminal cancer (to be fair, masarap sya kumain ng tortang talong).
3. Or would she be more like Rebecca, a free spirit slash pretentious travel blogger trying to find love in exotic Thailand? Now in this fantasy world, she experienced the following:
• Woke up cranky after a neighbor’s all-night videoke session (although seriously, who doesn’t wake up cranky before going to work?)
• Spilled coffee on herself and her laptop prior to a presentation, almost got run over by the client that she called “kalbo”, and delivered the craziest sales pitch that really wasn’t any better than the one given by Becky (she didn’t have a back-up file and only prepared the night before, why would I feel bad for her?).
Also, her manager asked her to speak in English and when she failed to do so, she was replaced by a colleague who delivered the pitch in…Filipino. (Huh!?)
• Chose to be a travel blogger instead (which consisted of two Twitter posts and one blog entry), flew to Thailand (I thought her family was cash-strapped?), had a pillow fight and fell in love (agad agad?) with Henry, played by Xian Lim who spoke like he wanted you to open a new BDO savings account.
4. In the end, the movie didn’t really want to choose just one fantasy world and simply summed up her experiences with the life lesson, “The best part of travelling is coming home.”
What?! This is the very reason why a lot of people really hate millennials.
5. As always, Jodi was the sole reason to watch this movie. She was endearing and funny and made the most out of her cardboard-thin characters, whether she was trying her best to hold back her pee or blurting out “Sex!” when asked to choose between cheesecake or chocolates.
In a fantasy world, she would be a much bigger star with better leading men.
6. I wonder if this premise would have worked better as a teleserye. I read somewhere that the story was actually similar to a Taiwanese series called Life Plan A or B. Definitely adding that one to my queue.
7. One character kept rolling his eyes that I wondered if he should have been named Becky instead. (He’s the one with the good hair, of course!).
8. And speaking of, in one scene, the cab driver in Thailand asked Chris if he wanted a ladyboy and he felt very offended that he said, “Uupakan ko na ‘to”. When Becky asked him, “Anong ladyboy?”, he replied with a wrist flick.
Dear Chris, do you know that one of the signs of homosexuality is extreme homophobia?
Why were there so many Beckys in this movie?
9. If this movie got one thing right, it was the distinctly Pinoy feeling of being homesick. Take it from the guy who immediately missed his bed a few hours after landing in Laoag.
10. Burning questions:
• Were the extras in the airport the same ones used during the elephant bathing scene?
• If Rebecca went to Thailand as a tourist, why did it show her working there as well? (No to illegal immigration!)
• When Becky and Chris stepped out of the theater after watching a horror movie, why was the poster The Third Party?
• Bakit ang daming natatapong kape sa pelikulang ito??
11. In Jodi’s next movie, I would be more than happy if she starred with an elephant instead. It looked like they had more chemistry anyway.