Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Review of THREE WORDS TO FOREVER: A Break or a Breakup?

December 4, 2018

There was a lot of hype about this film being the comeback movie of the Sharon Cuneta - Richard Gomez love team with five hit movies from “Kahit Wala Ka Na” (1989) to “Walang Kapalit” (2003). It was also one of those rare times that Kathryn Bernardo will be in a movie without her love teammate Daniel Padilla to be paired up with another young actor. The title was forgettable and trailers were not really encouraging, but I was still curious to see what more it can give. 

The family of Cito (Freddie Webb) and Tinay (Liza Lorena) get together in their hometown of Ormoc City to celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary. Their daughter Cristy (Sharon Cuneta) and her husband Rick (Richard Gomez) are about to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary, but their relationship was already very strained with frustrating lack of communication. Their daughter Tin came home from New York City to join the celebration, and on the spur of an excited moment, suddenly announced her own wedding to her boyfriend Kyle (Tommy Esguerra).

The whole movie was just light-hearted family comedy-drama about trying to keep up good impressions for the benefit of others, despite destructive secrets. This pretense was perpetrated with no apparent due regard to the other parties involved. Cuneta and Gomez really looked ill at ease with each other, but of course that was how Cristy and Rick felt about each other. Bernardo's immature Tin was hyper and bipolar, in contrast with Esguerra's obsessive-compulsive perfectionist Kyle. Lorena was an over-indulgent nagger Tinay to Webb's reluctant post-heart attack patient Cito. Joross Gamboa played happy-go-lucky Paeng, out-of-place character who just so happened to know all the hidden secrets. 

The main dramatic highlight only came in the last thirty minutes of the film when a distraught Tin finally opened up to her parents Cristy and Rick. This was the only moment in the film that Sharon Cuneta and Kathryn Bernardo came across as a real people as they confronted each other with sincerity and frankness. This should have been Richard Gomez's big moment since mainly his issues were tackled, but the director Cathy Garcia Molina's blocking of this key scene made him look awkward, denying him the chance to also shine. 

The script tackled problems experienced by husbands dominated by their "always-right" wives, and kids with overbearing mothers. Husbands (and kids) will hope that this movie can somehow "tell" their wives (and mothers) to lay off a bit and allow them to become who they aspire to be, and who the wives (or mothers) want them to be. While these husbands may nod in identification with Rick's plight (or kids with Tin), they also hope their wives (or mother) will also get a Cristy-like epiphany and realize that she may have been too hard on them and apologize for being difficult to please. But then again, this is still just a movie, so it may never really happen in real life.

Liking this movie will depend on how much you identify with the sentiments being expressed by the characters. Here it was the husband who told the wife that as partners, they should be equals. I thought that this message in favor of men was quite a change from the usual flow of dialogue of Filipino dramas that usually side with the women. (I confess though I never really watched a lot of these types of films before.)  I liked the interviews with real-life couples talking about their relationships interspersed in the film. They conveyed more relatable insights and genuine emotion than those of the main story itself. 5/10.

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