A Subjective Unfairness
And I Love You So
Director: Laurenti Dyogi
Cast: Bea Alonzo, Sam Milby, Derek Ramsay
Laurenti Dyogi’s And I Love You So begins with a premise straight out of the 2007 Hollywood hit P.S. I Love You. The peg—and I believe most Star Cinema films begin with pegs—is so shamelessly similar/unchanged that one wonders whether it should be called an adaptation. It is the story of Lara (Bea Alonzo), a pre-school teacher happily married to her perfect, hunky husband Oliver (Derek Ramsay). But not for long. With the first twenty minutes or so straight out of P.S. I Love You, the film establishes that Lara and Oliver are the perfect couple, blissfully married, want kids but are procrastinating, and tragically don’t get to do so because Oliver is struck down by—Hi, Gerard Butler!—a brain illness. And like Hilary Swank, Lara is devastated.
The story sort of deviates from P.S. I Love You when Lara meets Chris (Sam Milby), a guy who, like Lara, is struggling to move on with his life after a heartbreaking romantic breakdown.
As much as one would love to sympathize with Lara’s loss—and I’m sure lots of viewers did—it gets kinda irritating at certain points. In one especially dramatic scene, Lara is parked at a gasoline station, pouring her heartaches out at the visage of her dead husband. “Oliver,” she sobs, “ayoko nang mabuhay kung di rin lang kita kasama.” She laments about this and that and whines about this and that while chugging down a can of beer. “Life is unfair,” she wails, “life is so unfair!”
You’d be tempted to hurl her beer can at her. Ateh! Unfair ang buhay mo kamo? Eto nga’t hinahabol ka ng tenant mong gwapo, mestiso at mabango! Ang sakit sa bangs! Ilang milyong Pilipino ang walang trabaho, walang matirhan, walang makain at nilalabag pa ang mga karapatang pantao! Tapos ikaw, maganda ka naman at maykaya, hindi ka nga lang makamove-on sa pogi’t mayaman mong yumaong asawa kaya hindi rin makapagcommit sa conyotic mong manliligaw! Life is unfair? Namannnn! Kung ikaw mapapasigaw na ng “PUTANGINANG BUHAY TOH,” aba, pano na ang mga ordinaryong taong hindi pinalad maging Bea o Sam o Derek? Kairita!
Forgive the cheapnezz. (Mine or the film’s, you decide.) That being said, And I Love You So goes where most love stories have gone before. Aside from its plagiarized premise, the film preaches destiny and all those Hollywood standards of love and courtship which have unfortunately influenced generations upon generations of lovers. So silly is the extent of destiny that Lara and Chris’s relationship is largely determined by a battery-operated plastic toy, a magic 8-ball. One can actually buy one of these handy love consultants—and it’s effective! (How can it not be, when you’ve got this rugged, handsome musician with the face of Sam Milby making sure that you get through your days okay?)
Deus ex machina is all over the place, illustrated by the strange way Chris always manages to bump into Lara and vice versa. Money woes are merely convenient plot devices, as opposed to believable problems. And everyone’s really pretty, whether they were having an aneurysm, dead drunk, or just woke up unbathed with a bad hangover. Clearly, Star Cinema has produced more intelligent and original love stories.
If any, And I Love You So is saved by its moments of comic relief, thanks to Lara’s co-teacher Paola (Candy Pangilinan) and Chris’s less-than-reputable and barok dates. The beautiful Anawangin beach scenery is quite charming as well. But don’t expect to pick up any realistically usable life lessons or something. Overall, it’s okay—for a formulaic film. #
Entry filed under: Edgar Allan Paule, Filipino films, Full length films. Tags: anawangin, and i love you so, bea alonzo, derek ramsay, laurenti dyogi, p. s. i love you, romance, sam milby, star cinema.