Being someone who grew up watching dramatic and mistresses-themed films back in the 80s, 90s and even in these millennium years–I find the recent Joel Lamangan film–‘The Significant Other’ quite interesting. Interesting because I want to know how this one is going to be narrated. The film’s plot isn’t new–it’s formulaic. Its treatment is new though; to attract the recent set of today’s moviegoers–the millennials and the GenZers.
What made it more palatable to male and female audiences, but also to the growing members of the LGBTQIAPK community (Mind you, I won’t elaborate further the meaning of the acronym, just click the active link, instead)–is the three lead stars that pitted (in acting) against each other, onscreen–Lovi Poe, Tom Rodriguez and Erich Gonzales. They took on their respective roles without qualms at all.
Three ‘Fearless’ Stars with No Qualms Whatsoever.
Since the director is known for someone who doesn’t want half-baked acting; the three lead stars–Lovi, Tom and Erich gave all in order to be effective in their respective characters.
They gave justice to what was required of them.
Poe, as Maxene is a comebacking supermodel and is secretly married to the irresistible and philandering cosmetic surgeon, Rodriguez’s Edward. Meanwhile, Gonzales is Nicole, the provincial lass who dreamt of making a name as a model and got involved with the flirtatious husband of Maxene.
Though Lovi already had a previous mature and sexy role in her film ‘The Escort’ where she was paired with Derek Ramsay in 2016; in this film–she succeeded in channeling an image of a woman being hurt due to her husband’s infidelity.
Erich who also recently shed-off her ‘sweetie’ image via the MMFF entry she had with ‘Siargao’ opposite Jericho Rosales as her leading man (and it came as a ‘shocker’ to many); her character as Nicole is even more ‘fearless’ in doing love scenes with Tom.
And Rodriguez is most likely an actor who follows after the footsteps of matinee idols who proved their acting and their ‘fearlessness’ in doing bed scenes; the likes of Gabby Concepcion, the late Miguel Rodriguez, Richard Gomez, Aga Muhlach, Piolo Pascual, Derek Ramsay–to name a few.
Together these three sizzle in their required steamy scenes that perhaps is the selling point of the film. And not just that–they provide an old theme with a ‘new take’ in presenting ‘the other woman’-kind-of-film.
Old Theme, New Take.
Eric Ramos and Jerry Gracio teamed-up in writing an old theme and giving it with a new take or a ‘breath-of-fresh-air’ approach (when it comes to dealing with relationships) between a philandering husband, his wife and his mistress.
It’s good to note that the two writers chose to anchor the two female leads as celebrated models; being involved with one man based on their own set of truths and values. Maxene being the supermodel who cannot afford to reveal in public her real score with the man she loves; and Nicole, who innocently fell in love (and is willing to fight for the love she found)with a real cheater, a married man who takes advantage of his women-patients.
Hmmm, this reminds me of a scandal involving a male cosmetic surgeon with female entertainment celebrities in porno-ish type of videos.
However, I am just curious why the ‘friendship’ between Maxene and Nicole were presented as ‘too deep’, but based on how the story progressed–it seemed that the relationship between the two women–weren’t established well in their scenes (as their journeys as friends). The lending of pair of women’s shoes maybe symbolic; but not quite enough to convince the members of the audience including me. I was thinking that the pair of shoes could have cultivated deeper the friendship of the two women. Maybe they end up supporting an advocacy together–the likes of providing pair of shoes to those who can barely buy a pair or two.
That in itself, would have created a purpose for the two women; apart from sharing one man in bed. Sadly, the I find Maxene and Edward as mere cardboard characters. It was Nicole’s that had a clearer path in character development.
Nicole Dimaculangan has More to Offer.
In the final analysis, among the three characters–it was Erich’s Nicole has a concrete character development.
Even if Poe and Rodriguez did their best in the acting department; Gonzales stood out.
Maxene as a supermodel, whether it was due to editing, still the scene when she was persuading her husband to allow her to travel to Singapore; where she stripped off in front of him and made love with Edward–was nothing close to the intensity of emotions that Janice de Belen did in a 1989 film ‘Rosenda’ where the actress stripped off one by one her pieces of clothing and accessories in exchange of money. Lovi fell short in showing how she really wanted to chase her dreams and do that modeling stint in Lion City.
How important was her modeling assignment back there as opposed to Rosenda’s decision to sell her body in order to save her dying daughter? The character lacked something, somewhere. It is a pity that, her potentials weren’t pushed some more in this film.
Edward, as Maxene’s husband and as Nicole’s lover didn’t show much remorse on what he did to the rising model from the province and even on his cheating with his wife. It was not even clear if who did he really pursue after that scene at the fashion show.
I felt that scene where Nicole marched into the conference room and confronted Maxene was over-the-top. Was it really necessary for the two women to lash at each other? And then the scene when both women had to reconcile through a pair of shoes was a bit pushover. In the last scene, Tom’s interest in painting was not established in the very beginning.
As a whole, ‘The Significant Other’ tried to create a buzz on how ‘different’ it was envisioned by the writers; but frankly–it only had one and real selling point–the steamy scenes of the three characters. Some notable scenes in the film were the ones that featured three cameos–the one with Ricci Chan as Avel Bacudio, as well as Ahwel Paz and Trixie Dauz who portrayed as reporters.
Lovi may have moved up from being a woman who sells flesh for a living to someone who is afraid to make a stand for her own family; still this film is not something she owned. Tom, who may have attempted to be the local Jamie Dornan, the Christian Grey in the ’50 Shades of Grey’ serialized flicks–he was disappointingly lacking behind in ‘hotness’.
The big winner in the film is Erich. She has blossomed into one ‘fearless’ woman-artist. She can claim that she really is–the significant other.
Still showing in cinemas nationwide, catch it before it disappears eventually.
Though, the Regal Entertainment Incorporated’s film ‘My Fairy Tail Love Story’ by Perci Intalan is easily identified with the fairy tale written by the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ which is about a young mermaid who is willing to give up her life in the sea and her identity as a mermaid to gain a human soul; this one attempts to create a movie experience apart from telling a story; particularly having in mind the youth of today.
The mermaid-centric piece assembles three of the promising young stars in Philippine cinema, the popular team-up of ElNella (short for Elmo Magalona and Janella Salvador) and the eye candy—Kiko Estrada, the son of Cheska Diaz and Gary Estrada. Magalona plays the male childhood friend of Chantel, Noah; while Salvador is Chantel and Estrada is DJ Ethan, the third wheel in the film.
The film takes pride in its scenic locations where the film was shot in Batangas, Zambales and Pangasinan. Most of the breathtaking underwater scenes were taken in Anilao and the beach scenes were both in the latter mentioned places. Some underwater shots were done in Tubbataha Reef, Palawan. It posed a great challenge for the director to make all the shots look like it was taken in one location.
Like any other ‘Little Mermaid’ franchises, though the film has nothing to do with Walt Disney films and all; still it offers musical production where it utilizes the singing talents of ElNella tandem. However, Intalan promised that it only has 20% musical parts, but has a major musical scene. Moviegoers are in for a Disney-kind-of-treat in this Valentine offering movie.
Janella’s character as Chantel is cursed with a fish tail and she can only go back to her human form and restore her legs when she finds her true love’s kiss, which she mistook it to be DJ Ethan. In contrast to the character of Walt Disney Princess named Ariel, Salvador’s voice wasn’t gone, but she has to sing whenever she has to say something.
Also in the cast are Kiray Celis, Dimples Romana, Dominic Ochua, Kakai Bautista and a lot more. The MTRCB rated B film opens on Hearts’ Day (Valentine’s), February 14 in cinemas nationwide.