Having endured many years of the Metro Manila Film Festival, it occurred to me that our viewing might be improved by drink. It certainly wouldn’t hurt: everything makes more sense with enough alcohol sloshing around your system.
Yesterday Jay suggested that we have wine and cheese at Cav on Bonifacio High Street. Afterwards, if we were still up to it, we could catch a mmff movie. Also we hoped that if we were sufficiently sloshed at least one of the movies would seem interesting enough to watch.
Cav offers a tasting menu—three kinds of red (they also have white) for P590. Our favorite was the Claymore, Graceland 04—I like a wine that refers to land mines and Elvis. We enjoyed the wine so much we decided to skip the movie altogether.
Today I made my second attempt to see a mmff movie. Vivien and I were at the mall, deciding which movie to watch, when who should walk by but Derek Ramsay. We decided to interpret this as a sign from the cosmos that we should catch his movie, I Love You, Goodbye. Later we realized that Derek walking by is not sign from the cosmos, unless he is naked. That should teach us a lesson.
I figured that we were safe since the movie is directed by Laurice Guillen. Surely if she saw that the screenplay did not make sense she would say, “I’m not shooting this.” Well the screenplay sucks so hard it swallows itself. I have not seen Nobody, Nobody But Juan, but I can tell you that it’s better than I Love You, Goodbye. Wapakman is probably more coherent than I Love You Goodbye, and I hear they didn’t have time to erase all the wires from the flying scenes.
I Love You, Goodbye is one of those torpid, needlessly glum movies where nothing happens for the first 100 minutes, then in the last 15 there is a series of absurd revelations that strain all credulity. It is as if the head of production (or since this is a Star Cinema product, a creative committee) reviewed the footage and said, “Nothing’s happening, just end it now.”
Gabby Concepcion whom I hesitate to call “well-preserved” because it evokes jars of formalin is a heart surgeon who is living with a former waitress played by Angelica Panganiban. Gabby is getting an annulment from his brilliant, accomplished wife played by Angel Aquino, to the disapproval of his dragon mother played by Liza Lorena with eyes popping out of her head. Gabby’s daughter Kim Chiu hates hates haaates Angelica for no reason at all and makes snide remarks that are supposed to be bitchy but just sound stupid. Then Derek Ramsay as Angelica’s boyfriend who abandoned her two years ago returns and wants her back, and since she won’t talk to him he befriends her would-be stepdaughter. Who immediately topples over, because look at that.
Jay says Derek isn’t Filipino at all, but British-Mexican, but Vivien says British plus Mexican equals Filipino because the British colonized America which colonized the Philippines and Mexico was colonized by Spain which colonized the Philippines so he’s Pinoy. Oh and I have to point out the one redeeming quality of I Love You, Goodbye: all the leads are very good-looking. Kim Chiu is so pretty you can almost ignore the voice assaulting your ears like a cheese grater.
Going back to the plot, Kim falls for Derek so I’m thinking, Ooh conflict, something Imitation of Life-ish or at least some girlfights like in All About Eve or Temptation Island. Naah, the screenplay is too chicken to put one of ABS-CBN’s wholesome young stars in that kind of situation. Ten minutes to the ending I thought the movie was going to take a twist to Unfaithful in which Richard Gere kills Olivier Martinez for boinking Diane Lane, but the script is too chicken for that, too. Instead we get an incredible resolution best summed up as, “Patayin na lang natin yung problema para matapos na” (Let’s kill the problem so we can go home).
There, I’ve spoiled it all so you can spare yourself. The best line in I Love You, Goodbye, uttered by Gabby Concepcion to Arlene Muhlach: “How’s your ensaymada business?” By the way, this is one of those flicks where every sex scene is accompanied by blaring saxophone music. Yuuccch. Better to eat cheese than to watch it.