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‘All of You’: Struggles, Somehow

After the successful film that featured the tandem of Jennylyn Mercado and Derek Ramsay as lead stars with Dan Villegas as their director in ‘English Only, Please’ (2014); this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) reunites the three via ‘All of You’.

The first Jennylyn-Derek film earned the following awards during the 40th MMFFSecond Best PictureBest Actor for Ramsay, Best Actress for Mercado, Best Director for Dan Villegas, Best Story for Antoinette Jadaone and Dan Villegas, Best Screenplay for Jadaone and Anj Pessumal and Best Editor for Marya Ignacio.

Based on the success of ‘EOP’‘AOM’ might feel the pressure to producing a more impressive run at the MMFF this year. Indeed, there will still be a captive market for the film that is distributed and produced by Quantum Films and MJM Productions; but it is not a reason to slack since there are quite interesting films that are in competition.

Because it’s Romantic Comedy—its Ending should be Happy?

Nobody can deny that there is a long list of winning formulas that make a romantic comedy film a hit and one of which is the concept that audience are to be convinced that the hero or heroine and his or her love interest[s] are really destined for each other.

In this case, Mercado who plays Gabby Cabrera—a woman who simply dreams of getting married someday and Ramsay as Gab Eusebio—a man who has no plans of settling down; they fit the concept of ‘opposites attract each other’.

From the film that Jennylyn and Derek once had in 2014—this one attempts to be ‘mature’ in its approach. The ‘difference’ of each character portrayed by the two leads could seem ‘problematic’ or a little complicated to deal with; but in reality—such ‘difference’ can actually be the reason why some relationships work because it adds spice and passion at the same time.

To both Gab and Gabby—they really are two different personalities, but due to the idea of being challenged—they eventually fell for each other. In fact, the love scenes could appeal well to its intended audience; but the one with Arci Muñoz-Gerald Anderson romantic-comedy flick ‘Always be My Maybe’ is far more passionate and has more lasting effect.

Even if Mercado and Ramsay had several love scenes here—for me, it didn’t sizzle. It was something suppressed. There was no intensity, which I personally was expecting.

It went on a ‘Good Start’, but…

Nowadays when humans feel the need to satisfy ‘sexual desires’ and mingle—a dating app comes in handy—that was how Gab and Gabby met abroad; and the rest happened just too fast—both eventually ended up living together as live-in partners.

Perhaps, the writers just wanted a more common couple—but somewhere it failed to explore and establish further the pros and cons of dating apps in the context of those who want to get into relationships.

For me, it could have been better if the protagonists in the story have pointed any concrete scene that shows positive and negative factors or maybe tried to justify the importance and the potentials of such relationships developed from such dating apps; but the idea was never entertained.

I have nothing against dating apps, but that could have been a great vehicle to anchor the relationship of Gabby and Gab. It would be certain that the millennial audience could identify with this.

Nothing is Harmful to Risk, sometimes.

When ‘Changing Partners’ was announced to be filmed by Dan Villegas—I was hopeful and at the same time—I was happy with the result. Indeed, when a good material comes along coupled with good actors—the result is something great.

I am not sure if this film was really intended to be part of MMFF 2017. If this could have been given more time to tweak or tie some loose ends—then this could be another hit for Jennylyn and Derek. As an audience, I was expecting more. I felt I was a bit shortchanged.

But the risk placed on Ramsay as the lead—I could say is worthy, thus making him an automatic Best Actor nominee. Unfortunately, I am just not too sure about Mercado. She might be nominated all right—but she is up for a tight competition with other well acted lead roles from other competing films. In this film, the moviegoers could identify more of Derek’s character as opposed to Jennylyn’s.

Gabby has issues on Gab’s being a chained smoker as she imposed rules in the house they shared together but eventually the former ended up smoking as well. Was it weakness of her character or was it ‘love’ that made her a smoker as well? Was it because she lost hope on Gab and that her pregnancy wasn’t realized; she just went on to joining him?

There were some inconsistencies in Gabby’s character. I would love to sympathize with her but Gab’s character has more redeeming factor.

All of You’ is showing on December 25. This could be perfect for those who love ‘hugot’ lines or would want to see some sexy scenes especially where Derek Ramsay bares his physique, his abs in particular. I think that’s just one of the come-ons of the film.


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