Days before graduation, two college best friends go on one last road trip where they settle how they really feel for each other.
This is the premise of I’m Drunk, I Love You starring Maja Salvador and Paulo Avelino.
This offbeat romantic film aims to encapsulate the experience of everyone who has been friendzoned. And in this society that likes to play coy, that could very well be at least half the population.
The movie’s marketing effectively makes it appealing to the indie crowd. It is set largely in La Union, surfing capital and backpacker/hippie central. Add to that the element of music, lots of angsty and gripping music. But the movie also speaks in a kind of code that might alienate people who may A) not be from University of the Philippines and B) not be familiar with the surf/indie film/music festival scene.
Carson (played by Maja) has been in love with Dio (played by Paulo) for all of their college life. That is seven years, because the maximum duration an undergrad can pursue a degree in UP is that amount of time. Of course, there are exceptions.
Dio, on the other hand, has gone through several relationships and is at a crossroads, just before they officially graduate with their degrees.
Less time is spent on the angst of indecision and uncertainty of joining the job market and going into the great big world, and more time is spent circling the matters of the heart. Yes, this is definitely a love story.
Individually, Maja and Paulo are competent movie stars with the looks and talent to earn a steady following of fans. If you have seen both on different media, their performances here do not greatly differ from those. They have good chemistry onscreen, which saves the movie from being awkward.
Of course, the elephant in the room is this: What guy, with a best friend who looks and moves like Maja Salvador, would be satisfied with just the status quo?
A good amount of the movie is dedicated to the characters getting drunk and talking through emotions—the latter, mostly by Maja.
The movie benefits from excellent cinematography that includes maverick camera angles, and very good musical scoring featuring catchy tunes, including “Lloydy” that takes the John Lloyd Cruz “myth” to a whole new entertaining level.
Dominic Roco, Jasmine Curtis-Smith and cameos by Irma Adlawan and Jim Paredes light up the screen and break the monotony. Aside from technical excellence, I’m Drunk, I Love You benefits from inspired performances.
It feels like part of it wants to be an arthouse love story in the vein of many before it, including the Richard Linklater trilogy (Before Sunset, Before Sunrise, Before Midnight). But at the end of it, though the audience walks away with a smile at the light and natural ending, there is a sense of searching for something more that could have been said.
Director and co-writer JP Habac has put together elements that will be relatable to all those who have had a similar experience. Like a drunken stupor after once again lamenting about one’s object of affection: “Why doesn’t he/she feel the same way?”
The movie is a trip. A beautiful, colorful one that, if you are willing to strap yourself up for the ride, you will enjoy anyway.
Side note: this writer meets the criteria for deciphering the code, yet at the end of the two-hour movie, also felt that there could have been a more sure-footed point to be made.
I’m Drunk, I Love You is now being screened in cinemas nationwide.
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.