Tag Archives: Lovi Poe

tv + film by Philbert Dy

‘The Significant Other’ is Completely Insignificant

The latest film to tackle infidelity fails to find any meaning in the madness

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The Significant Other concerns Nicole, a small-town girl trying to make it big as a model in Manila. A manager advises her to go to a cosmetic surgeon to have a large birthmark removed. She is referred to Edward (Tom Rodriguez), who flirts with her as they have their sessions together. Soon enough, Nicole becomes pretty infatuated with the doctor. Unfortunately, it turns out that Edward is married. Worse yet, it just so happens that his wife is Maxene (Lovi Poe), a recently returned model that Nicole greatly admires, and someone who has just recently become a close friend and a mentor.

It is actually challenging to articulate the ways in which this movie is terrible. At times, it feels like the creators are just playing a joke on us, or are acting on dares to go lower, to find new depths of cinematic laziness. This is the only way in which the movie could be considered daring. It is drowning in banality, in spite of the fact that its infidelity plot is contrived to ridiculous lengths. It is badly produced and horribly acted, its very presence in our cinemas an indictment on the industry that allowed any of this to happen.

As with all of these infidelity films, the whole point seems to be getting women to deliver labored withering lines to each other. The story is actually told out of order, the movie apparently not patient enough to set things up before getting the women to get to catty bon mots. It then spends a good chunk of its time establishing the elements it just gave away. It devotes much of its narrative contrivances to making sure that Nicole remains blameless in all of this, the young woman kept completely in the dark about the marital status of her new beau.

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In order to sell this point, the movie has to sell us on something very strange: a famous model who is apparently able to keep the existence of her husband and child a secret from the public. This is, to put it mildly, stupid. But even if we are to accept it, there is a complete lack of curiosity to Nicole that makes her out to be more naive than a reasonably person should ever be. The question here is who the audience is meant to care about in any of this. The film is very bad at selling us the appeal of any of these characters, or any of these relationships. It’s all so facile, the movie never really putting in the effort to make their interactions feel the slightest bit meaningful.

The title of the movie is actually an indication of this. The film plays that phrase as something important in these relationships, as the very height of commitment and romance. Never mind that this isn’t actually something that a real person would say, much less value. It’s just something the movie can toss out and pretend is meaningful. None of the actors come out looking good in this mess. Lovi Poe, Erich Gonzalez and Tom Rodriguez may as well be replaced by mannequins, as that is about the level of emotion that they are able to get out of the material.

The Significant Other feels like a trick that’s being played on the audience. We have been promised a movie, and we are instead treated to a pile of garbage; one that wasn’t even lovingly assembled. It feels like a bunch of professionals cranked out a film in their spare time, caring little for the actual quality of the final product, and pawned it off to an unwitting public as something worthy of taking up space in cinemas. It is the kind of awful that is genuinely baffling. There are many bad films, but there are few that express such a deep, insulting level of apathy.

THE SIGNIFICANT OTHER IS NOW SHOWING IN CINEMAS.
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Philbert Dy
Philbert Ortiz Dy has been reviewing movies professionally since 2007, and has thus dedicated his life to being yelled at by fans of literally everyone. He is currently the Online Editor of Rogue.ph. Yell at him on Twitter at @philbertdy.
tv + film by Philbert Dy

‘Woke Up Like This’ Builds a Charming World of Fools

Though a little sloppy, this comedy does bring the laughs

NBHD movie 3-2 ticketsWoke Up Like This is a new local take on the whole Freaky Friday thing. Nando (Vhong Navarro) is a wannabe professional basketball player who doesn’t like to pass the ball very much. Sabrina (Lovi Poe) is a model who doesn’t treat people very well. Both end up running into the same old man (Lou Veloso), and they wake up in each other’s bodies. The two are told that they have to learn some valuable lessons so that this curse will end. In the meantime, the two will have to fill in for each other in roles that neither is really equipped for.Screen Shot 2017-08-24 at 3.58.02 PMThe film puts all of its cards on the table early on, by hanging a lampshade on the basic premise. The old man comes in and outright tells the characters that they have to learn some kind of lesson prior to them resolving this predicament. By putting the pretense of the drama aside, the film is able to largely concentrate on just being silly. It gets kind of sloppy, with several of its scenes having no real punchline or ending. But for the most part, the film is able to live off of its gleeful brand of madness.Screen Shot 2017-08-24 at 3.58.28 PMAn attempt at sentiment is still there, but the movie seems to acknowledge that it’s an extraneous bit of business. It barely sets up the emotional stakes, and just resolves them just as quickly. In one case, the dramatic payoff takes place as a conversation over the phone, with one of the parties not even on camera. This might sound like a bad thing, but it works within the greater design of the movie, which just resists any sort of serious payoff. It’s a world where all the characters are pretty dumb, but lovingly so. It creates a bunch of weirdos, and then embraces their weirdness.Screen Shot 2017-08-24 at 3.58.49 PMSo, this is a movie where a basketball commentator might have an argument with his sock puppet co-announcer. That’s a literal sock puppet, who at one point threatens to reveal his colleagues darkest secrets. It is also a movie where an abused gardener slapped for comedic effect might be given a moment of cinematic sympathy. There is a strange kindness to this movie’s comedy that feels refreshing and endearing, even within the context of its relentless inanity.Screen Shot 2017-08-24 at 4.05.16 PMIt does all feel a little rough. The scenes are assembled loosely at best, with several sequences ending abruptly, moving on without the benefit of a strong tag. But this is the kind of movie that can get away with that, its shaggy construction becoming somewhat of an aesthetic. It helps that the cast seems so committed to the comedy. Lovi Poe in particular does a great job of channeling manly swagger. Vhong Navarro goes a little broad in playing his co-star, but it works well enough in this context.Screen Shot 2017-08-24 at 4.05.02 PMWoke Up Like This is just an all around pleasant film. It isn’t the most tightly constructed film, or the most original, but it commits enough to its own weirdness that it works well enough. The laughs are there, and the cast does their best to make those laughs count. And the film just feels a little less mean-spirited than a lot of the comedies of the last few years. It feels sillier, less reliant on the comedy of cutting people down. It builds this world of absurd fools, and lets us be fools right along with them.

WOKE UP LIKE THIS IS NOW SHOWING IN CINEMAS NATIONWIDE
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Philbert Dy
Philbert Ortiz Dy has been reviewing movies professionally since 2007, and has thus dedicated his life to being yelled at by fans of literally everyone. He is currently the Online Editor of Rogue.ph. Yell at him on Twitter at @philbertdy.