Filipinos will never run out of ‘hugot.’ This is proven by Fifth Solomon’s directorial debut “Nakalimutan Ko Nang Kalimutan Ka,” a romantic comedy starring Alex Gonzaga together with Vin Abrenica, Jerald Napoles and Candy Pangilinan. It also stars Rufa Mae Quinto, Jason Gainza, Alora Sasam, Joj Agpangan, Jai Agpangan, Ricci Chan, Juan Miguel Severo, Cai Cortez and Keiko Necesario, written by Fifth Solomon and produced by Wilbros Films.
The film follows Jaz Cruz (Alex Gonzaga) in her quest to find a way to forget all her memories with her ex-lover (played by Vin Abrenica). She comes across a mysterious clinic owned by Doctor Rolex (played by Candy Pangilinan) who promises to help her erase all memories of her ex by taking out her heart and replacing it with a new one through a surgery.
She changes her mind during the last minute because she’s not ready to forget him yet. Her best friend/ vlogger (Jerald Napoles) tries to help her and takes her on a trip, hoping that this will somehow help her heal.
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To start off, “Nakalimutan Ko Nang Kalimutan Ka” is quite hard to decode. It felt like a mash-up of different genres, from an absurb comedy to an indie romance flick. It’s like a parody of past local hugot-filled romance flicks before, like 2015’s “That Thing Called Tadhana” and last year’s “I’m Drunk, I Love You”.
I mean, traveling to someplace far from the city (with Bataan instead of Baguio) to forget the past and move on? And what’s with those neon-colored lights everywhere they go? And how can I ignore those annoying product placements as if this was a Vic Sotto flick. To add it up, the whole film feels clunky as a whole. It felt like a series of sketches and gags stitched together to form one narrative that doesn’t add up once you’re done watching it.
Despite that, it’s also one of the film’s strengths. Though it doesn’t work as a whole, it works better in parts. There are some really creative sequences that end up being truly hilarious, such as the stages of being heartbroken, as diagnosed by Doctor Rolex. The way they use humorous ‘hugot’ lines to elicit laughter was very effective. Director Fifth really knows his genre and masterfully weaves some very funny laugh out loud moments. His script is also full of unforgettable quotes about relationships and heartbreak, like “Kaya ganun kasakit, kasi ganun kasaya.” The film is also packed with some really nice visuals, as expected since it features Bataan as one of its locations.
The film’s biggest strength is its cast. There were some very funny moments featuring Rufa Mae Quinto, Ricci Chan and Toni Gonzaga. Candy Pangilinan’s over-the-top portrayal of Doctor Rolex added some absurd comic touches to the story. Juan Miguel Severo’s spoken word poetry gave a bit of serious ‘hugot’ to the film. But the biggest commendation is for the film’s two leads, Alex Gonzaga and Jerald Napoles.
Alex Gonzaga was very effective in portraying the heartbroken Jaz. I must say that this just might be her best performance yet. Her timing was on point and proves her incredible talent for comedy. Jerald Napoles complemented her very well. Though their story wasn’t fully realized, their chemistry together became the driving force for the film to work.
Though the film feels clunky as a whole, “Nakalimutan Ko Nang Kalimutan Ka” is still a very entertaining film with its fun mixture of humor and ‘hugot.’
5 – Excellent
4 – Very Good
3 – Good
2 – Tolerable
1 – Terrible