Month: March 2016

Always Be My Maybe (Dan Villegas, 2016)

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Always be my Maybe
Director: Dan Villegas
Year of Release: 2016




Tintin, Arci Munoz’s character in the movie Always Be My Maybe, broke the fourth wall somewhere in the first few minutes of the film, speaking, from an uploaded youtube video, to Jake (Gerald Anderson) and to the rest of the audience about make-up and simultaneously about breakup, like a classier Pastillas Girl. She initially seemed a little kooky, yet we’d get to know her to be sweet and endearing and honest and candid. Name it: sex, one-night stands, ‘balls’, motel. She was not going to blush hearing those words. She’s game in using them in fact. Being upfront and probably careless to be proclaimed whore by conservatives if they see her approach a man, see her ask him to drink with her, and see her flaunt those spotless milky white cleavage at night to a guy who’s emotional, recovering from his brokenheartedness, and who’s handsome and drunk, it’s not far that they’d stone her to death the morning after. The male species on the other hand, dry from ST and titillating treats of cinemas for years, must be impelled to tease Gerald for the missed opportunity, for letting such a White Castle girl worthy beauty just leave his side without even getting a ‘score’ that same day. He should’ve proven himself what his character was and should’ve not just given us a lecture and a differentiation between Love and Sex. Bakit di pa niya tinuka ang palay?  But. Gerald Anderson’s Jake must have been cracked and traumatized with his recently being dumped by his ex. And Arci’s Tintin, despite her scrapping the Maria Clara image, it didn’t make herself less of a person–a woman  who is simply being herself deserves respect. Jake proved to be that kind of guy who wouldn’t do things without consensus.

Dan Villegas took this nice directorial journey from a rural, coming-of-age romance-drama Mayohan up to this contemporary urban romance-comedy. Switching between restaurants, bars and offices, his new movie made us  witnesses to a lot of friends’ and lover’s talks. There were enough small happenings to keep the pace of the movie not sleep-inducing during those conversations. Aside from the funny and captivating dialogues, there were…cockroaches on soups, Yakuza tattoo on Arci’s back, the sound of moans from a sex video scandal which came from Gerald’s laptop and… sashimi on the mountains haha to keep us awake in case we were too impatient and we sensed a ‘lack of movement’. But even the facial expressions were enough to hook us, the gestures were spot on. The feelings were true and romance bloomed unlike this in a long time in local movies that we welcomed its packaged verisimilitude.

The best parts were the ones where the attraction developed into something more serious before our eyes, which was really the whole journey from the time the couple meet, up to the end. And that was what’s great. We discovered who the characters were in the exchanges.We were there with them. We saw their actions and sensed their emotions and found them in a restaurant, discussing what’s true or shitty, like jealousy, like lack of trust,  and we knew that each of this moviestar couple had really truly madly fallen in love in real life, obvious when we scanned their faces. In what looked like some form of Jake’s soliloquy, we saw Gerald shed genuine tears. We were familiar with their fears to attempt to try  love anew. I knew the feeling of being punched in the chest and being torn apart and torn into pieces, resulting to having a torn shirt. I knew what walking on the streets with no destination felt, circling the Araneta Coliseum circumference by feet multiple times as if someone imaginary threw morsels of bread for me to follow until night until one guard stopped me and suspected me for someone plotting a midnight crime.

And then on the most intense of meetings where the truth had to be set free and the decisions had to be made, one must finally step forward and remove all those filters and let the mascara slightly fade. But she’s caught emotionally defenseless with how the exchanges turned out that time that giving a quick answer might be a dangerous thing and might result again to a misstep. End of climax.

Somewhere sometime at work or any place, he dreamed of her, saw her in Angel, Lorie, Lani. She was the person riding a motorcycle underneath that black tight-fitting overalls, with face hiding under the protective helmet. She was the one holding the camera, smiling, displaying those disarming dimples. When she smiled, she flashed a nice set of teeth ready to bite a red, red apple. Finally, she arrived carrying things expected of a wooing admirer, but he played a game of hard-to-get for a short time and he greeted her with the words: Where are my chocolates?

It was a perfect ending. A woman who technically had started the relationship was given the chance to resolve it with that simple gesture, of bringing things which were the ones she would have preferred to receive herself. And Tintin paid attention to what Jake once said. It didn’t matter where the place was–it didn’t have to be in the middle of a big ogling crowd or in an office building seeing the other buildings outside explode. It’s okay anytime. Of course it’s extra special if it were Valentines or his birthday or their monthsary, but really, any date would do. What mattered most was being with the right person. She only needed to ask and say the right words to make that crazy little thing called love certain.