Saturday, April 1
Twelve Thoughts on Moments of Love
1. Caught the last full show of Moments of Love at Robinsons Manila. The tickets cost Php110. Such crappy seats. It's highway robbery.
2. But my mother has been dropping hints that she wants to watch. So we did, even if I warned her that based on the trailer, it seems like a hodgepodge of Il Mare, Frequency and some other movies. Her solution: "Let's watch Il Mare din!" Complication: My VCD copy of Il Mare is on an unlabeled disk and it seems to have disappeared somewhere in my pile of unlabeled disks.
3. The girl at the popcorn stand doesn't like me. All the other stalls were closed and there were still full vats of popcorn. I tried to buy one as we hadn't had dinner yet. Girl said shook her head and said no more popcorn. I was forced to feed my mother nacho sticks. When we were paying for it, some guy went to the popcorn girl and she sold him popcorn. Fie on you, popcorn girl!
4. The film's romantic premise, of two people who haven't really met yet can fall in love, is already an old tradition. People will take whatever advances in communication--letters, phone, newspaper personals (Kissing Jessica Stein), e-mail (think The Shop Around the Corner, and lately, You've Got Mail), mobile texting, friendster--and try to meet people. So I guess it's safe to say that people are lonely, whatever time and space they occupy and will always search for happiness by whatever means is available. Just be careful that they don't turn out to be psychos (hello, Single White Female) or murderers.
5. Premise notwithstanding, the thunder and lightning device had already been used in the movies several times (see the Back to the Future series), but in this film, it wasn't really explained how and why the time-space continuum got warped in such a way that 1957 and 2006 managed to meet. The explanation that the film's characters hammers in our heads is that it's all about destiny just doesn't cut it for me.
6. The first time Marco and Divina talked on that old rotary phone, the film's tone and feel suddenly turned into a horror movie. The people in the theater were confused whether to go all kilig or get scared every time Divina and Marco talked on the phone. Is she back from the grave? Is she out for revenge? I'm not sure if this is the filmmaker's attempt to remind viewers that the guy who plays Marco is the same guy who hosts Wag Kukurap. In fact, large chunks of this movie feels like an extended episode of Wag Kukurap. "The Curse of the Haunted Phone" anyone?
7. To establish that Dingdong Dantes is from Manila, he wears layered outfits. A lot. He also drags a camera around most of the time but we don't know what that's for. Dingdong also shares the same acting philosophy as Richard Gutierrez. Except that Gutierrez is from the Knotted Brow School of Acting and Dantes is from the breakaway Blank Face But Jaws Tighten To Express Extreme Emotion Method.
8. Iza Calzado can take any role and turn it into celluloid gold. In Milan, her character was the impetus for Piolo Pascual's character to go to Italy. When he finally found his missing wife, Calzado was barely recognizeable. But you remember her more for those very few minutes that she appeared as Mary Grace. But I suppose Calzado did all that she could with this movie. She looks fabulous in an old Hollywood, Sampaguita-LVN kind of way. For a 1950s girl, she sure wears a lot of low-cut sleepwear. I wish she were spared that boat sinking moment though.
9. When Karylle's character tinkered with the piano and the first few notes of the theme song floated in the air, I wanted to barf. It goes back to that awful tradition of Pinoy movie making that turns hit songs into movie titles. Sure, Moments of Love is a very effective earworm, but I think songs used in movies should be deliberately chosen and not randomly picked. I'm leaning towards that other song used in the film, that Tagalog song about waiting for eternity. Willy Cruz's Sana'y Maghintay ang Walang Hanggan seems more apt, not to mention less grating on the ears.
10. Gloria Romero has cornered the market on lola roles. It's weird how all these movie lolas either go into a coma, like in the head-bludgeoning Filipinas. Which I don't really mind. Imagine if Armida Siguion Reyna woke up from her coma and thought she was in the set of Aawitan Kita. The same thing happened in Tanging Yaman, which also starred Romero. Surely, movie lolas can still be agents of change and not spend most of the movie horizontal and unconscious.
11. The only good thing here is that lola trumps apo in the romance and hotness department. What I'm really saying is that both the Divina as played by Calzado and the Rosa essayed by Romero both had more sizzle factor than Karylle. I'm all for the empowerment of good roles for senior actors (see Something's Gotta Give), but I'm not sure if I want to see lots of hot lola/GILF moments in Pinoy cinema.
12. There's some tension brewing between Divina and the maid character played by Valerie Concepcion. Especially later in the film, when that character was already old and was shown cradling stuff from the bodega. She was so teary-eyed with pain and remembrance, it makes you think that the loss of her Señorita Divina has more to it than meets the eye. But that's another movie.