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Saturday, September 27, 2008


BEAUTIFUL locations alone do not a good movie make. This was already proven by GMA Films in “Batanes”. The stunning vistas of the windswept islands up north are not enough to compensate for the shortcomings of the badly written script. This was also proven by Star Cinema’s “For the First Time”, that was even filmed in Greece but also suffered from a botched up screenplay. (In contrast, their “A Very Special Love” didn’t even have to go somewhere far but proved to be so attractive to viewers who found its overly cute story irresistible.) GMA Films now proves once again that foreign locations are not enough to attract moviegoers in “Italy (I Trust And Love You)”, supposedly a tribute at that to OFWs. Again, the film’s chief drawback is its uninvolving script by Sennedy Que.

The cast is star-studded but make no mistake about it, the movie is really a vehicle for Jolina Magdangal as the story revolves mainly around her, with her as narrator at that. The movie starts with her in a bridal gown walking at St. Mark’s Square in Venice. It turns out to be a dream sequence while she dreams of finding Mr. Right. As Destiny Pinlac, she’s the eldest of four kids. She’s the breadwinner for her three younger brothers and their wheelchair-bound ad. She finds work in a cruise ship and gets to work with Eugene Domingo, her boss in the housekeeping department, and with Rufa Mae Quinto, a lounge singer. Rufa Mae becomes her rival for the attention of a passenger (Dennis Trillo) who’s looking for his missing Italian girlfriend.

The movie is primarily more of a travelogue to show the most beautiful cities in Italy, but they actually failed to show its most scenic spots in full as they obviously didn’t take the appropriate panoramic camera with them when they shot the film. What a waste. So what we get are tight shots of the Fontana di Trevi and the Colloseum.

The script can really be so confusing. You don’t even know whether Jolina and Eugene are friends or foes. In some scenes, like when they running around Barcelona, they seem to be so close to each other. But there are also scenes when Eugene seems so hostile to Jolina. Rufa Mae also often appears as a villain to Jolina. One can’t really understand why they’re fighting over Dennis. There are moments when Jolina, Rufa Mae and Eugene are portrayed like stupid idiots.

The movie also offers very few laughs as a comedy. Rufa Mae’s act of quoting English songs and being hyper in all her scenes are getting to be tiresome and annoying. Can’t she offer anything new? Here, she’s not even credible as a singer in a luxury liner as she only knows one song, “Ocean Deep.”

Eugene is funnier and looks like she was left to her own resources. She’s funny in her scenes with the ship’s captain and when she spoofs the love scenes inside a car from “Titanic”. We know Eugene is capable of doing so much more, but the script and Director Mark Reyes failed to fully exploit her comic gifts.

Oh yes, also in the cast are Mark Herras and Rhian Ramos. Sadly, they play useless roles that can be deleted totally from the script without damaging the story at all. Somehow, we are sad for the movie as they spent so much shooting this abroad... and it all came to just this? Like we say, we can never overemphasize the significance of having a good script over beautiful locations.




Anonymous djbianca said...

i agree with you. Every words you wrote is very agreeable.

5:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

buti nga...trailer pa lang alang kwenta na ang italy...agree dn ako sa forthe first time...pero comapring italy to for the first time...i would say mas ok pa ang for the first time...kahit dpa masyado mganda ang script ng FTFT..kumita nmna..kesa sa ITALY..pangit na ang script flop pa...gma kasi kaya al ring kwenta nag movie..=)

1:09 PM  

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