I'm Ellenya L appears to be a commentary on the youth of today who are addicted to the likes, shares and comments that they get from posting on social media.
The romantic comedy’s differing comedy, however, obfuscates this message, leaving the movie with not much to say.
I’m Ellenya L tells the story of Ellenya Lakampati (Maris Racal), an ambitious girl who refuses to get a stable job because her goal is to become a famous social media influencer.
She will do anything to reach this status despite her cluelessness, so she tags her childhood friend Peng (Inigo Pascual) to help her shoot content.
When Ellenya meets Kyle (Pat Sugui), a PR strategist for celebrities, she starts to become more reckless just to meet the demands of fame.
Will she be able to reach her dreams or will a tragedy topple her ambitions? And how does her relationship with Kyle affect her friendship with Peng?
The story works because of the earnest performances of its lead actors. Maris Racal is still able to portray a loveable personality even if her character is annoying at times.
Inigo Pascual’s is able to mesmerize every time he’s on-screen, so viewers can ignore how one-dimensional his character is.
The supporting cast also turn in memorable portrayals. Pat Sugui’s quiet charm proves why his character Kyle is a successful influencer. Nova Villa is Ellenya’s authoritative but loving grandmother who provides a crucial advice. Gio Alvarez is the ever-supportive millennial-like father to the challenged heroine. And Kat Galang’s Gerrie is endearing despite her efforts to thwart Ellenya’s star potential.
Too bad the actors had to work around an uneven script and lazy characterization.
It does not make sense why Ellenya doesn't seem to know what content to produce for her channels. That's weird for someone who can sing and play the guitar, and her dad is a singer. Yet she is clueless on what to upload on YouTube? She keeps creating crappy content instead of song covers that are guaranteed to blow up.
Peng’s characterization, meanwhile, feels like a collection of bullet points; he is a friend of Ellenya, has a loving mom, likes cameras and drives a Vespa. He does not feel like a fully-fleshed character, so his revelation to Ellenya towards the end of the film does not feel genuine enough.
The film also suffers from showing a mishmash of comedy. The movie tackles a relevant topic so it should have shown intelligent comedy, and yet it also showcased slapstick, crass humor and even what the heck moments like a macho dancer dancing in his ratty underwear during a romantic moment.
These contrasts in comedy made it hard to take the movie seriously.
All in all, director Boy 2 Quizon should be praised for choosing a modern story to showcase in this year’s Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino. He was able to direct his actors well in a story that should be relatable to young viewers.
The comedy is hit-or-miss, but viewers will still find something to laugh at.
Ed's Note: The "PEP Review" section carries the views of individual reviewers, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the PEP editorial team.