Coming from a successful teleserye and world tour, James Reid and Nadine Lustre are back with their fourth feature film. This Time's about two childhood friends, Ava and Coby who only see each other every summer. Eventually, as years went on, their relationship blossomed- but not without obstacles and roadblocks.
Maybe I've been spoiled by the writing and direction of OTWOL so much because This Time felt flat and unpolished. The flow of the movie was uneven with flashbacks and asides dispersed throughout its two-hour run that messed up the main plot. Much so that I couldn't identify the film's rising action, climax, falling action, etc. I can't say anything wrong with James, Nadine and everyone else in the cast because they did all they could with the source material that was given. Sadly, it wasn't enough to make a satisfying movie experience.
Shout outs, Call outs and Watch outs:
- Call out that loooooooooong flashback. It was basically half of the film. If you were going to use a flashback as a plot device, at least have the decency to tell your audience when the flashback ends. It was hard to tell how far in the future the first ten minutes was.
- Although shout out to the foreign pop culture references in each year. You don't often hear Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt's breakup or the H1N1 scare in a Filipino movie. It could have been better if they also included local pop culture references. Like have Ava ask Coby to watch Diary Ng Panget (plus points for meta-humor)
- Again shout out to the casting. Al Tantay's always a lock to be the dad. And I was pleasantly surprised to see Candy Pangilinan in a nanay role. So much spunk and energy than the usual talents typecasted as the protagonist's mother.
- Shout out to Ronnie Lazaro who played Ate Bi, the gay owner of the cornerstore near Ava's place. I know Ronnie Lazaro for his taong grasa roles and I haven't seen him in such a role as this.
- Shout out to Donnalyn Bartolome embodying the spunky bestfriend role. When will they give her a leading role?
- Shout out to the musical director of the film. Who wouldn't dance to Donna Cruz's rendition of Langit Na Naman?
- Watch out for that Skype call scene between Ava and Coby. Nadine is still the worst person to talk to on Skype
- Biggest call out: using The Beard trope as the final issue to test their relationship. Seriously, it's one of the easiest issues to clear up. The gay guy (in this case Bret Jackson's character) just has to properly explain the situation. But based on the film's logic, being a beard is a far worse issue than balancing priorities with love
- Calling out also the decision to suddenly include Japan in the story. Of all places why Japan? It wasn't clear why Ophelia (Nova Villa) went to Japan.
- Also, why did they introduce the Ambassador Summer Lolo and Ophelia love story in the middle of the film all? And as if the Lolo and Ophelia had almost the same weight as the Coby and Ava story. Their happily ever after was tied closely to Lolo and Ophelia's happily ever after.
- Call out sa Cornetto. Yes we know na major sponsor kayo ng film