Thoughts On...Walang Forever and All You Need Is Pag-Ibig

So my first foray into MMFF 2015 involved two Tonette Jadaone-associated romcoms. All You Need Is Pag-ibig was written and directed by Jadaone while she was credited for an additional screenplay writer role for Walang Forever.

This write-up isn't strictly a film review. Think of this as an organized version of my thoughts and musings while I was watching each show. Instead of livetweeting everything, I thought to just put them here.

#Walang Forever

After the success of last year's English Only, Please, director Dan Villegas teamed up with Jennylyn Mercado for another off-beat romcom with Jericho Rosales as the new male lead. Jennylyn plays Mia Nolasco, a successful screenwriter having a hard time getting inspiration for her newest movie. Jericho plays as Ethan, Mia's ex who suddenly returns.

  • Jennylyn's proving herself to be the queen of Filipino romcoms. She has effortless chemistry with the leading men they pair her with
  • I can't picture JM De Guzman in the role of Ethan. It felt like it was tailored for Jericho Rosales
  • Jerald Napoles stealing scenes again just like in English Only, Please. Give this guy his own indie comedy movie!
  • Weird story beats, a sudden dive in the last fifteen minutes of the film
    • There was a questionable decision at the end that didn't make sense for me. Para lang magka-confrontation scene?
    • Mia Nolasco's films ranked:
      1. The Liza Dino - Sid Lucero one (highly efficient acting from Sid Lucero. Did not waste any time to display his acting chops)
      2. The last film at the end of the movie (it's spoilery if I divulge but these non-drama artists were able to carry this heavy scene)
      3. The Melai Cantiveros - Jason Francisco one (props for using Labidabs)
      4. The Sofia Andres - Julian Estrada one (showed some chemistry)
      5. The one with Michelle Vito (sorry, I'm not familiar with the guy)
      6. Khalil Ramos - Jane Oineza one (lacked chemistry, looked like a toothpaste commercial)
      7. and The Payong One (sorry! not familiar with both talents)
      8. SPECIAL MENTION: That "Ikaw Na, Beh" poster at the movie company office
    • Tonette Jadaone/Dan Villegas cast shoutouts: Jerald Napoles, Cai Cortez, Quark Henares, Pepe Herrera, Sofia Andres, Nico Antonio

ALL YOU NEED IS PAG-IBIG

Written and directed by Antoinette Jadaone, All You Need Is Pag-Ibig is a Love Actually-esque romantic movie that tries to show the different kinds of love present in the world through the lives of some interconnected people.

  • Tonette Jadaone is the J.J. Abrams of the Philippines when it comes to fitting talents with characters. Amazing how these talents were able to show a different side of their acting ability (i.e. Lilia Cuntapay as the lead in Six Degrees, Angelica Panganiban as a likable lead and JM De Guzman's return to form in That Thing Called Tadhana)
    • Kris Aquino in this movie is the Kris Aquino we expect and dream her to be in real life--a bitter, alcoholic monster
      • Jadaone was able to make me like Kris Aquino!
      • PLEASE MAKE ANOTHER MONSTER KRIS AQUINO MOVIE PLEASE??
      • With that haircut, not sure if Jodi Santamaria or Tuesday Vargas
        • The Ian-Jodie storyline's funnier if you replace Jodi with Tuesday Vargas
        • There were too many stories in this film to fit two hours.
          • So much so that the flow of the movie was uneven. More time was given for the rising action that there was little time to properly tie everything up
          • Storylines ranked:
            1. Nova Villa - Ronaldo Valdez (this kind of story and love isn't explored enough in local cinema)
            2. Ian-Jodie (standard romcom plot but the progression and use of romantic gestures were evenly paced)
            3. Kris Aquino (remove Derek Ramsey, that just didn't make any sense at all. Just Kris Aquino being mean and bitter is the stuff dreams are made of)
            4. Pokwang (this  had potential. Medyo cop out ang settle for tita love after having the other characters chase for who they loved)
            5. Maricar-Derek (What happened? Why was Maricar so chill with the break up?)
            6. Kim-Xian (could have been more relevant with the choices you have and all pero I don't get why Kim got punished for following Xian's suggestion of faking everything)
            7. Bimby-Kim (Mame lang na may pelikula si Bimby, also lacked development)
          • That singalong to Rizal Underground's "Bilanggo" inside the car scene of Jodi and Ian was PERFECT. Complete with air karaoke, air guitar and awkward daddy dance moves.
          • I really felt that the original script was the Jodi-Ian storyline. Their relationship was the anchor for all the other relationships after all. I'd like to think that they had to revise the script since Kris Aquino still didn't have a MMFF movie and they needed to KimXi to add the token love team into a Star Cinema movie.
          • So much exposition/general proclamations about love. I guess that's just how Filipinos really discuss love
          • Tonetteism: Destination of the movie: Coron
          • Biggest drop in performance: Derek Ramsey. From Best Actor of MMFF 2014 to talking naked piece of meat (subject for objectification lang)
            • Pro-tip: The Best Actor-worthy performance is in another movie. You won't see it here.
            • Tonetteism: female characters in pain or seeking acceptance (i.e. Lilia Cuntapay in Six Degrees, Toni Gonzaga in You're My Boss, Angelica Panganiban in That Thing Called Tadhana, etc.)
            • Tonetteism: using animations to illustrate central theme of the movie (i.e. relationship tree in Six Degrees, the arrow and the heart thing in That Thing Called Tadhana and now this one)
            • When did they finish shooting this? I saw red Starbucks cups already.
            • The animated scene didn't do it for me. I thought they had another one at the end of the story to tie things up
            • It deeply saddened me when people in the cinema laughed at Nova Villa's embarrassing scene. Yes, you can laugh at it because it was a classic case of miscommunication in marriage (we also had the same thing in A Second Chance). But if you think about it, it's sad to see an elderly woman go to extreme lengths just so she could still feel wanted by her husband. Neglect at that age is a serious matter.
            • Tonette Jadaone/Dan Villegas cast shoutouts: Derek Ramsey, Pepe Herrera

Watch out for our thoughts on Honor Thy Father and other MMFF films in the coming week. IF Honor Thy Father survives the weekend.