Mar 19, 2012

[Movies] ÜnOfficially Yours (2012)

I don't want too many Filipino movies - it's just not something that I've gotten used to doing. My family never really got into it and I guess it carried on into my adult years. And I have watched the occasional movie here and there when one or the other stands out, but that isn't something to take a lot of time out for.

It's not like I particularly hate local movies - I just rarely find a reason or inclination to do so. But then I used to say the same thing about romantic comedies and you know how that has turned out because of my partner Tobie's efforts. And now that our other boyfriend Prince is part of our lives, it looks like my movie options will continue to expand.

So one weekend when Tobie was out of the country, Prince and I opted to go on a little movie date and he asked us to watch this particular movie. I had my doubts of course - this kind of lifelong bias that I have isn't something that goes away overnight. But this movie was more entertaining that I ever expected it would be and I will state that I actually enjoyed it.

Yay to broadening ones horizons.

ÜnOfficially Yours is a Filipino romantic comedy movie directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina with a screenplay by Juan Miguel Sevilla. It was produced and released by Star Studios as a Valentine's Day movie and surprisingly is still in theaters as of the time of this posting.

At some beach location, Macky Galvez (John Lloyd Cruz) encounters the confident and self-assured Ces Bricenio (Angel Locsin). The opening sequence shows us how the two first meet one another and engage in some flirtatious banter intercut with scenes of them already hooking up for the night. But the next day Macky finds himself alone without the girl's phone number or any other way of reaching her.

Angel Locsin, Filipino actress
Image via Wikipedia
Fast forward to some time later and we find out that Macky is a dentist opting to change careers to journalism. He has manged to get a first break as a writer for the Manila Bulletin together with a friend / roommate where he is surprised to discover that Ces also works there as a reporter. Ces is tasked to train him in his new job and she continues to be aloof as if nothing had happened between them before. But eventually she acknowledges their history and the two eventually start a sexual relationship without the trappings of anything more formal between them.

Now the movie did feel a tad weird since it seems very Western in its sensibilities. You have the modern woman who is sexually free and mature. You have the bachelor and his three roommates who for the most part can only be referred to as "bros" when compared to foreign romantic comedy concepts. And the list goes on and on. And this is not to say that they don't fulfill their roles and functions well. This just means that there's definitely an effort on the part of our own writers to try and up their writing level or maybe they're just blatantly copying what has worked with foreign movies.

And no, I won't go into the debate of whether or not this reflects truly "Filipino" movies or crazy things like that.

John Lloyd Cruz is certainly tasked to act out a rather charming and yet sweet guy in the movie. He's has all the fun and witty lines that he tries to win over Angel Locsin, and he delivers these lines well enough. Then again, this is more or less his character niche given how strong stereotyping for actors is in local movies at times. I did like the rather tongue-in-cheek addition of his family consisting of people who, well, really enjoy eating. It was a comedic effort at explaining why we as an audience had to be subjected to all those shirtless scenes with John Lloyd even when he's not exactly underwear model material.

Angel Locsin was pretty fun as the modern-thinking Ces. She certainly brings the whole "strong woman" concept to the fore in terms of her acting in this movie, although at times she would shift a bit too much to the cold and aloof side at times. It's one thing to be self-assured and another to be a bit of a dead fish in her acting.

The movie is a mixed bag of fun moments and romantic comedy tropes, but then on the whole I'd like to think it stands toe-to-toe with some of the foreign-released romantic comedies out there. That's another mixed statement itself since you have to admit there are a lot of romantic comedies out there that won't exactly change the world any time soon. And so in this sense the movie doesn't quite elevate the genre or anything like that. But it does manage to play ball with the rest of them.

ÜnOfficially Yours was certainly a surprising movie for me and one that I admit I enjoyed more because of Prince watching with man and how a lot of the dialog seemed a bit too similar to stuff we've said over the course of our relationship. Still, it should get at least 3 montage sequences used to fast-track plot development out of a possible 5.
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  1. nice. must find a copy when it's available. :D

  2. I work at the Bulletin and actually got included in one of the shots, but it got cut! XD There goes my movie debut!

    A lot of the background actors are actually Bulletin employees. The Lifestyle editor is actually our Lifestyle editor.

  3. Wow, that's cool info! I was wondering how many of the staffers were real versus movie inserts.

  4. Pray to the gods of the intarwebz!