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‘Because I Love You’: Too Ambitious, but still a Good Attempt

Let me give credit to Arnold Vegafria for taking risks and for providing a platform for his talents to shine in this competitive industry of entertainment as well as the discriminating taste of moviegoers. It’s an ambitious act, but still a good attempt in coming up with a film that has a blunt kind of plot. 

Because I Love You is not too bad, but not too impressive. Perhaps the David Licauco and Shaira Diaz may offer a refreshing treat. Maybe I’ve had enough of loveteams in Philippine movies anymore. That’s why I am not easily impressed.

The Charlotte Dianco-penned and Joel Lamangan-helmed romantic-comedy flick had its pluses and minuses as a whole. The issue is on the story development and its two leads. I didn’t feel anything that I can resonate with Rael and Summer. I didn’t exactly feel the dynamics of the two leads’ relationships with their parents. It was not too clear to me.

Let me quote Steven Spielberg‘s words: “Audiences are harder [especially the discriminating ones, with emphasis] to please if you’re just giving them effects, but they’re easy to please if it’s a good story.” 

Why did Mia Thermopolis and her father Philippe Renaldi’s [in the film Princess Diaries] relationship too powerful to anchor on? The writer was able to cultivate and develop that bond between a father and his daughter. 

It’s a matter of show-don’t-tell.

The failure to establish the closeness between Summer and her father in the film–the audience missed the deeper understanding between the two. That could have been the key. It could also work with Rael’s. Seriously, most of the characters were one-dimensional. 

There were arguably difficult to accept scenes in the film.

Can Summer and her team discuss the safety of a particular company and its people from a fire in a closed-door setting, instead? Isn’t that concern, too critical to giveaway and create panic? Is it possible for a female firefighter to let her hair down during fire rescue operations? Isn’t it appropriate to set her hair on a high or low bun in a helmet?  

What about the cars of Rael and his male rival (Martin del Rosario)? The cars don’t fit the kind of personalities both have. Even the way the two characters don’t look their part in dressing up. 

Stella Bruzzi said, “Clothes are not mere accessories but are key elements in the construction of cinematic identities.

“Fashion plays a pivotal role in constituting a character’s make-up in film, functioning as an intermediary between character and narrative.”

In Real, Summer and other characters, the sense of styles in clothing is vital in justifying whatever characters they are portraying.

To make it a romantic and cinematic scene, the firefighters showered the lovers with water from the truck. I said to myself: “Really now? How insensitive toward the Manilenos.”

Though the film may have sort of copied techniques in terms of telling a story from previous hit local and Hollywood movies, there were times that it worked. I think that’s what matters the most. Samantha Lopez and Mosang did shine in their scenes.

In the cast are Michelle Dee, Bernadette Allyson, Monsour del Rosario, Mr. World Philippines 2018 JB Saliba, Timothy Lawrence Yap, Bryan Benedict, IC Mendoza, Victor Basa, Rob Sy, Chris Leonardo, LM Mercado, Afi Africa, Melo Merkona, Jao Mapa, and Mosang with special cameo appearances by Miss Multinational 2017 Sophia Senoron, Miss Eco International 2018 Cynthia Thomalla, RJ Ledesma and newly-elect Senator Francis Tolentino.

Because I Love You is still showing in cinemas nationwide.


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