Freeman Cebu Entertainment

On "Forever and a Day"

CHANNEL SURFING - Althea Lauren Ricardo -

I've been interested in KC Concepcion since I first watched her perform on stage in Trumpets' The Little Mermaid. Story has it that she auditioned without the knowledge of her mother and without introducing herself as the daughter of Sharon Cuneta and Gabby Concepcion, and she won the role of Princess Sapphire by merit. I was pleasantly surprised at her performance, and I hoped she would, indeed, enter her parents' business.

And now she is, I suppose, a shining star in her own right. After getting her mother's nod to join the entertainment industry, KC now has several movies and TV shows under her belt. To top it all off—and to go showbiz all the way—her boyfriend is no other than matinee idol Piolo Pascual.

Which is not to say her career is going as great as it should be. I believe I've said it before, and I'm going to say it again: it's tough to find someone to match KC onscreen, given her brand identity. KC isn't just an actress with some talent and a pretty face. She's the daughter of the talented Sharon and equally talented Gabby, conceived during the height of their teenage love team; she went to International School and then to Paris for university; she was reared in a political family; and she has a senator for a stepfather. She's not just her own person, this KC. Many people look at her and see an entire story.

This is my own way of saying Sam Milby just didn't have enough sizzle to match her dazzle. And, in my honest opinion, it was completely evident in their first movie, Forever and a Day.

I've always found KC to be a promising actress. Forever and a Day is her first movie with Cathy Garcia-Molina, who gave us that unforgettable John Lloyd-Bea movie One More Chance. I was hoping for it to be the film that would finally propel KC into her own kind of stardom, but it failed in that aspect.

Which is not to say the film isn't any good. It is good, and it has a lot of things going for it. Star Cinema's production values are right on top. Set mostly in Bukidnon, Forever and a Day is beautiful to look at, as befitting what is supposed to be a forever kind of love story. Many of the supporting cast are respected character actors, like Dante Rivero, Vivian Velez, and Bembol Roco.

I think Cathy Garcia-Molina wanted to bring all her skills to the table. It's evident that she pushed KC and Sam to rise to the film's expectations. It's also evident that the director put her heart into the telling of the story.

But a director's skills can only go so far. A large part of a film's success lies in the acting, while another larger part is the story itself.

I grant them this: If the performances of the lead stars in the film don't appear to be completely heartfelt, especially in the case of Sam, it may be because of life itself and not just talent. They're still young stars, after all, and if you don't get what it feels like to love someone who is dying because you've never loved that deeply yet, well, you'll probably get there with time and experience.

But KC is able to grasp some of the nuances of her role, while Sam isn't. Which is a pity, because his character carries the meat of the story. It is Eugene, the self-centered, competitive sports apparel executive, who is supposed to be changed upon his accidental meeting with Raffy.

There were several moments in the film when Sam's facial expression just wasn't easy to read. What is supposed to be a loving look for a sickly Raffy could go either way, and when he says something like, "You're the loveliest woman I've ever seen," you almost expect to see him crossing his fingers behind him or rolling his eyes when she's not looking.

Sam needs to go deeper, if he wants to be a better actor. He's still acting from his mind. But like I said, I grant them their youth.

Reading one of the film's promotional articles, I chanced upon a description that said it was an original piece, so that set my expectations. I know every story that could be possibly told has already been told, but making a straightforward film about a bad boy turned good by a dying lover (with cancer, of all diseases) is nowhere near original anymore.

In fact, watching Forever and a Day, I couldn't help but recall A Walk to Remember.

What I did find original, however, as far as Filipino films are concerned is its lighter treatment of cancer. No wailing here; only loving moments that lead to acceptance. For that alone, I think this film is worth the look-see.

The film is good, but it could have been so much more than it is, as KC could be so much more than the actress she is being built to be. I'm looking forward to better material for KC, for Garcia-Molina, for Star Cinema.

Email your comments to alricardo@ yahoo.com. You can also visit my personal blog at http://althearicardo .blogspot.com. You can text your comments again to (63)917-9164421.

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