2 films that are worth your while

STAR BYTES - Butch Francisco () - February 9, 2002 - 12:00am
One of the more popular foreign releases this week is Kate & Leopold, a love story-fantasy about a duke (Hugh Jackman) from 1876 who falls into "a crack in time" and ends up in contemporary setting where he meets and eventually romances a feisty advertising executive (Meg Ryan).

Quite expectedly, this movie tries to squeeze out laughter from scenes wherein the 19th century royalty tries to adjust to the modern world – in crazy New York at that. There are some scenes that are funny, but there are also quite a few that fall flat. Too bad for us moviegoers because we actually expected a lot of humor from this film, but ended up a bit quite disappointed. And I blame this on the film’s writing.

Kate & Leopold,
however, is generally an engrossing film. I like it basically for having shown the contrasting values between the days of old and today’s modern times. Toward the film’s climax, for instance, the duke – with his classic looks, regal bearing, full, resonant voice and impeccable manners – is hired by Meg Ryan’s advertising agency to endorse a brand of diet butter in a television commercial. After finding the taste of the butter awful, however, he refuses to proceed with the endorsement and also gets quite disappointed with Meg Ryan for taking part in this scam that aims to deceive the public. Here, we see the changing of values over time and how we – today’s people – would do anything for material gains.

Over all, I won’t say that watching Kate & Leopold is a total waste of time. It also has its humorous moments. The film, in fact, is very charming and, yes, quite entertaining. As a feel-good movie, it succeeds in making you forget the cares of the world at least for the moment.
Jolina film is cute, fun and perky
The Tagalog movie Kung Ikaw ay Isang Panaginip is also a love story-fantasy film. Produced by Star Cinema, this movie is still packing in the crowds on its second week in Metro Manila theaters.

Directed by Wenn V. Deramas, this film casts Jolina Magdangal as a maker and distributor of longganisa who falls in love with Rafael Rosell IV whose face is blown up in a Close-Up toothpaste billboard. This Rosell guy, it turns out, is actually trapped in the billboard – face, body and soul – after he was cursed by a fairy (played by Nida Blanca) for breaking the hearts of so many girls who all went gaga over his killer smile and good looks. To break the curse, he needs to find a girl who – in turn – should also get a boy to profess his undying love for her right under the billboard. But the catch is that, the unsuspecting boy would take Rosell’s place in the billboard and get trapped there until the next cycle.

Jolina originally plans on victimizing Leandro Muñoz whose guts she initially hates. But after realizing that he’s not a bad person after all, she has a change of heart and even falls in love with Leandro. But how does she get Rafael Rosell out of that billboard? Well, that becomes Jolina’s biggest problem in the story.

As for the viewers, they will temporarily forget whatever problems they may have while watching this movie as Jolina Magdangal comically tries to solve hers in the film. Kung Ikaw ay Isang Panaginip, you see, is a fun movie to watch. Call it baduy if you wish, but we cannot close our eyes to the fact that it is a decently-made movie.

Of course, Kung Ikaw ay Isang Panaginip is not a great film. In fact, it is a very small movie with an obviously tight budget but I do appreciate the fact that it is inventive, creative and very energetic – with its every scene well-planned and well-thought of.

Sure, there are some scenes in the movie that don’t work. But each of these scenes are given a lot of care – with the director seeing to it that the audience is never insulted in the process. It is a far cry from those usual small-budgeted run-of-the-mill Tagalog pictures that are downright stupid and assault the sensibilities of the viewers.

Kung Ikaw ay Isang Panaginip
is cute, fun and perky. More importantly, it stresses old positive values and traits that are so sorely lacking in most of our films today.

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