MAX Collins celebrated her 4th anniversary with BF Pancho Magno who greeted her in social media with the Bryan Adams song “We’re in Heaven” then said: “Happy Anniversary, My Love!” Both of them have another reason to be happy. They are both in hit primetime shows on GMA-7 since Pancho is in “Encantadia” while Max is in “Someone to Watch Over Me” that reign supreme in their respective timeslots.
As Irene in “Someone to Watch Over Me”, Max doesn’t know yet that Tom Rodriguez as TJ has early onset Alzheimer’s disease. She follows him to his house and meets Tom’s wife, Lovi Poe as Joanna. Tom sees the two of them together and this triggers an attack of his Alzheimer’s disease. He gets disoriented seeing the two women in his life, his past and his present.
It’s the first time for Max to see Tom having an attack of his disease and she is deeply shocked. She explains to her Tita Rose (Luz Valdez) and Yaya Osang (Shyr Valdez) that it’s Tom’s disease which makes him return to her as his first girlfriend, because he remembers his past with her and not with Lovi. She admits that she still loves Tom and wants to help him now that he is sick.
She apologizes to Lovi, who then implores her to leave Tom for good. Meanwhile, Tom remembers his own mom who’s estranged from his dad and threatens to punch his father, Edu Manzano as Buddy. Tom’s violent streak as TJ seems to be getting more and more pronounced.
JAKE APPEALS TO VIEWERS
JAKE Cuenca won the International Filmfest Manhattan best actor award in New York for “Mulat”, directed by Diane Ventura and which is about to have a wide theatrical release on November 2, to be shown back to back with “TheRapist” starring Cherie Gil.
“When it was shown in New York, everyone enjoyed it and praised us, so sana, suportahan naman ng mga tao kapag inilabas na rito sa atin,” he says. “I put all my heart and soul into this project, pati co-stars kong sina Loren Burgos and Ryan Eigenmann, kaya sana, magustuhan ng viewers.”
In the feminist story tinged with woman empowerment, Loren as Sam is engaged to be married to Ryan as Vincent. But something unexplained happens to her and she seems to suddenly wake up, determined to find peace of mind and happiness. She breaks up with Ryan who has violent tendencies, then meets Jake Cuenca as Jake and things seem to be going on well between them.
But just when things seem better, Loren starts to experience strange visions that make her question her own sanity, making the film a psychological riddle that keeps you guessing if what is happening is real and what’s the point of it all. Watch out for the big surprise in the ending.
Jake will soon produce his own indie film, “Requited”, an entry in the next Cinemalaya, where he’ll also play the lead role in a story about biking all over the country. But he is also in two new mainstream films for Regal. He stars with Angeline Quinto in “Never Been Kissed, Never Been Touched”, directed by Joel Lamangan. He’s also in the Metro Manila Filmfest entry, “Mano Po 7: Chinoy”, where he plays the love of Jean Garcia who’s married to Richard Yap.
So how is it working with Angeline? “She’s wonderful, masayang katrabaho. She does all the comedy kasi Direk Joel told me to play my role straight, nagre-react lang ako kay Angeline.” And how is it doing love scenes with Jean Garcia? “Napakaganda ng love scene namin kasi napakagaling na artista ni Ms. Jean at hanggang ngayon, napakaganda pa rin niya.”
He’s also in a new ABS-CBN soap co-starring with Gerald Anderson about triathletes. Yen Santos was supposed to be their leading lady but she has since been replaced by Kim Chiu and Coleen Garcia is also added in the cast. They had to reshoot all the scenes taped on location with Yen in Mindoro.
MOVIE REVIEW: THE THIRD PARTY
“THE Third Party” maybe about the controversial topic of homosexuality but it remains true to the goal of Star Cinema movies in being a real crowd pleaser. The film is more of drama with lots of tears, but the audience is clearly expecting more of a comedy, so they keep on laughing and laughing all throughout the movie, even in the sequences that are not really meant to elicit laughter.
The story starts in 2009. Angel Locsin is Andi, an events organizer, and Sam Milby is her boyfriend, Max, who has to leave to study medicine in the U.S.A. Angel decides it’s better for them to break up than have a long distance relationship. Sam returns in 2014 and meets with Angel, who’s obviously hoping she can win him back, but he instead introduces to her his boyfriend, Zanjoe Marudo as Christian.
Angel is shocked to find out her ex-BF is “bakla”, but Sam says he was just confused while in the U.S.A. and Zanjoe was there so they fell for each other. Zanjoe is the one who’s more openly gay while Sam claims his bisexuality has yet to come out to his parents. The movie, despite its unconventional topic, is still wholesome so those who expect to see Sam and Zanjoe doing a hot love scene will be disappointed. As it is, it still got an R-13 rating and despite the gay angle, this should still be SM Cinema acceptable.
There’s a scene where they both took off their shirts and are about to make love in bed, but Angel suddenly enters their room and does a “mali-mali” act so it’s played for laughs and the audience laps it all up with glee. In another scene, Zanjoe is going out of town and he hugs Sam and kisses him on the lips goodbye. The audience really went wild and shrieked with delight when they locked lips. In all fairness, the gay characters, both doctors, are not made objects of ridicule or derision so the LGBT community will have no complaints.
It’s Angel’s character who’s not painted well in the film. It turns out she got pregnant out of wedlock and her boyfriend (Paolo Paraiso) runs away with another woman to Canada, taking all her earnings and savings with him, leaving her bankrupt. She was booted out of her apartment and goes to Sam and Zanjoe asking them to help her abort her baby. Since they want to have their own kid, they offer to help Angel throughout her pregnancy then they’ll adopt her baby so she can pursue her dream of going abroad. They even ask her to stay in the apartment next to theirs so they can monitor her.
At first, there’s a rivalry of sorts in this uncommon love triangle between Angel and Zanjoe over the attentions of Sam, but this is quickly settled and they become good friends after singing together in a karaoke bar. But there has to be some drama, so Angel turns out to have big mommy issues with her estranged mom (Cherry Pie Picache) who abandoned her as a child. She grows up with her aunt (Alma Moreno) with a mountainous chip on her shoulder. For added conflict, Zanjoe sees Sam kissing Angel, gets jealous, and tells Sam to leave their place. Angel also leaves.
But since this is a Star Cinema movie, every problem is eventually solved, as shown in their usual epilogue. Angel is reconciled with her mom. Sam goes back to Zanjoe. Sam’s parents also learn to accept that he is gay. Even Angel’s dream of becoming a fashion designer becomes a reality. And all’s well that ends well for the obligatory happy ending.
The three leads do well in their respective roles, showing good rapport with each other. Zanjoe particularly stands out as the controlling macho gay doctor who invests his role with the right mixture of restraint and dignity. He is very effective in two major scenes, his parting scene with Sam and the scene where Angel asks him: Do you miss him? And he answers with a broken voice on the verge of tears: “Araw-araw”.
Sam as the indecisive Max oozes with an easygoing charm that makes him believably gender fluid and attractive to both men and women. Angel makes her own mark in that confrontation with Cherry Pie where she realizes that she is judging her mom and yet they really have something in common: they both want to have their own child aborted. She also shows her flair for comic timing in her funny scenes.
But whereas both Sam and Zanjoe look trim and well toned on the big screen, Angel, sorry to say, looks distractingly overweight, especially in that scene where she’s wearing an unbecoming blue dress that makes her look wider than both Sam and Zanjoe. How can her fans, who are rooting for her to reprise her Darna role, honestly expect her to put on the sexy and skimpy superhero costume with her looking like this? A few more pounds and she’ll already be as chubby as Alma Moreno is in this movie.
This is ex-indie director Jason Laxamana’s most compromising foray into commercial filmmaking. All his previous films, he also wrote and directed with maximum freedom. But this time, the script was written by Star Cinema writers who follow a certain mold. The director made sure he didn’t break out of that mold and comes up with the kind of movie that Star Cinema audiences find quite entertaining.