When it comes to rom-coms, trust director Dan Villegas to know what he’s doing. The guy behind Metro Manila Filmfest 2014’s English Only, Please romped away with a slew of awards, including Second Best Picture and Best Actor and Actress for Derek Ramsay and Jennlyn Mercado, respectively.
Now, Direk Dan has another rom-com, this time about two hearbroken souls (Jake del Mundo, played by Gerald Anderson and Tintin Paraiso portrayed by Arci Muñoz).
They were at the wrong place at the wrong time, or so it seemed. Six months after their respective lovers jilted them. Jake was still mending his broken heart at the family-owned resort. Tintin was also there with two friends.
Both were not looking for love on the rebound. They only wanted a good time with no strings attached. So the kindred spirits hook up, and the story unravels.
Jake and Tintin’s views on anything and everything under the sun show why a man and woman’s minds are as different as the proverbial night and day.
She talks of roses and romance; he simply looks on. She can go on forever about how it is to get hurt in a relationship; he describes it only in a few words.
But they don’t mind, since they’re just friends out for some fun in this scenic beach resort. Tintin teaches Jake a thing or two about sniffing gays a mile away. He shows her how to deal with unwanted creatures in his home.
The humor is light and engaging as the story coasts along.
Arci plays the role of the free-spirited makeup artist so effortlessly, you’d think she’s been doing it since she entered showbiz 11 years ago.
Arci would even steal the thunder from Gerald in at least three pivotal scenes. Her eyes speak volumes. Her body has a language of its own.
This is her show alright.
She does a Pastillas Girl and hits the bull’s-eye whenever she compares applying and removing makeup with how she feels at a certain point of her colorful life.
The well-chosen metaphors hit home, thanks to witty choice of words in Arci’s monologues.
CONTRIVED. Arci’s acting and witty dialogues, however, can’t hide the fact that some of the scenes look too contrived for comfort.
Why did Jake choose to visit Tintin on the very night somebody already beat him to the draw? Why did their past haunt them almost at the same time?
The two events were so close on each other’s heels, you’d think they weren’t pure coincidences. They were actually designed to happen for a convenient reason.
Convenient reason aside, Always Be My Maybe redeems itself by depicting how the uncertain world of present-day romance works, and clicks. You never know where you stand. You can’t put a finger on it.
Is it for keeps or just a one-night stand?
You have to play it by ear, dear millennials.
Whether you play it by ear or not, however, the other message is more compelling, and related to the first. It’s all about passion—the force that makes your heart beat faster, and infuses it with enough fire to light up a thousand and one flames.
ALL ABOUT PASSION. It is passion that spells the difference between mediocrity and excellence. It is the force that changes Jake’s life first, then everything else that follows in the movie.
Always Be My Maybe shows us that the nature of relationships may change. But other things—like forces that make us bristle with life—remain the same.
This—more than the steamy scenes and beautiful faces—is what sticks to our minds and makes us leave the movie house feeling light and ready to face the world with arms outstretched.
Romance, after all is not just about hearts and flowers. It’s also about believing in something that gets your heart and soul all fired up.
Thankfully, this is what Always Be My Maybe shows us—in more ways than one.
Ed's Note: The "PEP Review" section carries the views of individual reviewers, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the PEP editorial staff.