Since I had a limited time and the only available Metro Manila Film Festival 2022 entry showing at Shangri-La cinema at the time–I settled with Love at First Stream.
In the first few minutes of the film, I got bored, but somewhere around a scene where the character of Agot Isidro had a clash with her daughter Vilma (Daniela Stranner). who among the Generation Zs–is the one who dropped out of school and didn’t finish high school. Her contemporaries like Gino (Jeremiah Lisbo), Megumi (Kaori Oinima), and Tupe (Anthony Jennings).
Vilma may have an ambition, but it’s driven out of her hatred toward her mom. She was out to prove what she is capable of achieving through vlogging and streaming. Despite the non-support from her mom–she got it from her closest friends, like her cousin Megumi, her lad neighbor Tupe, and eventually the smart and handsome Gino.
Though this may not be the usual heavy drama or romantic comedy flick that Direk Cathy Garcia-Molina, still she succeeded in making the film appealing until the end. This comeback directorial assignment of hers proved that she still has the ‘magic’ in making stars, rising stars like Stranner, Jennings, Lisbo, and Oinima shine.
No matter how simple the plot is, Garcia-Molina still managed to throw some punches and made it work.
Described as the dreamer, but a stubborn daughter and has a different personality online–she has the charm to attract followers. Stranner as V, short for Vilma was annoyingly loud, but what made her tick is her semblance to Anne Curtis-Smith’s beauty and even the way she acts.
She has the knack of hitting light scenes and heavy-drama scenes, too. Her monologue type while streaming herself towards the end of the film–it was moving.
Her partner in this film, Jennings can’t be set aside, too. V may at times tends to overlook him. Yet as Tupe, who seem to be a wallpaper at first also has his moments. His confrontation scene with V could be considered as memorable.
The other two young artists–Lisbo and Oinima were revelations. With nothing, much of expectations, though new, both impressed me. They too can act with no fireworks at all.
Perhaps one strong point that the film was able to highlight is the social issue that most GenZs care about–the part about earning money. Gen Zers are interested in forging their ‘own’ paths by having such an entrepreneurial mindset. They challenge the traditional rat race–remember that scene where V was reasoning out to her mom?
Gino, Megumi, and Tupe may belong to the overwhelming majority of those who believe in carving a good education, Vilma is part of those who have an alternate source of income of some kind–and that is streaming.
At first glance, Love at First Stream is too light and not something to be taken seriously. However, it still offered a good mix of entertainment. There were times one could laugh, feel giddy because of love moments, and even hate the main protagonist–V’s actions and bad decisions.
It’s one feel-good movie that fits the Christmas season. It promotes love, forgiveness, acceptance, and moving on.