In the interest of full disclosure: this writer is a great believer and a big fan of John Lloyd Cruz’s expressive eyes (even better in Tagalog: nangungusap na mga mata), which he has used to great advantage in all of his movies, be they romantic comedies or international award-winning films. He summons their powers in Finally Found Someone.
Sarah Geronimo and John Lloyd Cruz’s onscreen chemistry has, increasingly, set off fireworks. In this movie directed by Theodore Boborol, it is the saving grace.
Sarah is spot-on in her comedic timing and thoughtful in her dramatic moments. As Aprilyn, she is a natural, even if she has to tackle some very tender moments and strong situations.
John Lloyd, as Raffy, is a suave and debonair public relations spin doctor, then a vulnerable friend-turned-lover, then a conflicted son and breadwinner.
Individually and together, the lead stars never resort to overacting.
Even their characters are well defined: he, a career-driven breadwinner, she, a starstruck bride-to-be jilted at the altar. Their paths cross because he is hired to spin the story so that the groom who jilted her does not suffer the ire of public opinion.
The story seems simple enough, but in the scripting, there are so many elements, characters, and twists and turns, that the end product can be compared to an overly made up young girl.
Dennis Padilla is a caricature of a trapo through and through; Joey Marquez does not offer anything different from his “Tsong” persona. Tetchie Agbayani and Yayo Aguila, as the leads’ mothers, offer a breath of relatable air.
Enchong Dee does not use any elbow room to at least be looked upon as having equal footing with John Lloyd, even though they have a tendency to mirror each other closely—even their characters’ names sound like: Randy and Raffy.
There are too many cast members here and there that crowd the story and the screen.
Some scenes are reminiscent of ‘80s slapstick comedy that may have worked on our parents, but is really just tired nowadays. One of them involves a large amount of people alternately being stopped then allowed to go into the house—ad nauseum.
Some shots are setup like it was constrained by the medium of TV: with the cast members lined up in a row as they converse. One of them involves Aprilyn and her family, talking about support and love. Good thing the “group hug” saved it from falling flat.
The fluidity of truth is at the core of the narrative. It also holds up a mirror for a society that is so preoccupied with social media and public perception. So there are viral videos, trolls, fake news, comments—and a barrage of noise: visual and auditory.
Finally Found Someone launches a possible trend with the “lungkot-kembot” combo that Raffy uses to cheer up Aprilyn. Who would not crack a smile at the sight of John Lloyd grinding his hips?
It could very well be the answer of John Lloyd to Sarah’s “sun dance” in the 2008 movie A Very Special Love.
The most heartwarming scenes, ones that capture the attention and imagination of the audience, are of Sarah and John Lloyd talking—as if we are eavesdropping or peeking in on their conversation as they navigate through to the next stage in their blossoming relationship.
They never feel rehearsed nor contrived. Though it seems as if Sarah and John Lloyd have mastered the way of tilting their heads or smiling or averting their eyes at just the right moment to elicit kilig from viewers every time.
At the end of the film, when all the elements that make this movie’s overly made up face are wiped away, it focuses on the heart of the movie: the two leads who make it delightful.
Produced by Star Cinema and Viva Films, the AshLloyd reunion movie Finally Found Someone is been graded B by the Cinema Evaluation Board.
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.