Monday, May 16, 2005

.:Film Review: Can This Be Love:.

I think I can review this film without giving too many critical spoilers. I'm sure you all realize how a movie like this would end, anyways. Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy wins back girl. Tried and tested formula, neh? Wait... lemme bookmark this... I like this weblog. Had a lot of film reviews, too... credit to him/her for the pic I'm using here in the review, but if he/she doesn't want me to use it, I can always take it down at his/her request. :)

Can This Be Love?
Maybe it can be.

The first local film I've seen in so many months, “Can This Be Love” is the story of how a Korean girl and a Filipino boy cross paths and find love despite clashes in cultures and personalities. Hero Angeles plays Ryan, a Filipino nursing student who dreams of working abroad and does encoding jobs for a living, while Sandara Park plays Daisy, a Korean exchange student learning English in the Philippines.

The story starts off amusingly enough, with Ryan complaining how ignorant the writer of one of the papers he is encoding happened to be. He took offense to the way the Korean writer put down Filipinos, and decided to edit the paper himself while encoding it. In the meantime, he gets to know a girl named Daisy, who became his text mate as he wanted to buy a cellular phone from her to replace his.

In a weird twist of fate, it turns out that the author of the paper was Daisy, and they got to know each other personally on a sour note. Despite that, they soon enough hit it off, and Daisy finally finds a friend in the country who's not part of her dormitory. The romance blooms, but when Daisy's father finds out about this romance, Ryan decides to avoid Daisy because he didn't want her to have to go against her family.

In the end, Ryan realizes that if he let her slip him by, then he'd be lying to himself. If he never lets her know that after all those times they've been together, he really loves her, then he was just going to end up being a fool wondering what might have been. In a leap of faith, he puts his heart on the line on the very day Daisy is set to return to Korea... and it is now up to them to write their story.

Inasmuch as I liked the movie and I realized how close to home the theme of the movie could get ;), I found it particularly a rehash. Yes, it's a nice story, and the chemistry between Hero and Sandara was good, but there was virtually nothing about Korean culture in the story that could make it feel uniquely Korean. In all honesty, if they made it a story between a Filipino and a traditional Chinese girl, the story would hardly change, so the movie felt a bit generic on the non-Filipino front.

The Filipino sensibility of wanting to go abroad despite being “nationalistic” was a nice paradox to touch upon. People who stay in the country get cynical about it, but those who leave can even be more nationalistic than those who are still in the Philippines. It can be quite a paradox, and the writing managed to show that very cleverly.

The supporting cast worked pretty well., Inasmuch as I felt that Joross and Melissa were just tack-ons that really added to the movie's appeal quite minimally, the characters like Tirso Cruz, Roderick Paulate, and so forth really gave the movie a backbone in between all the sugar and fluff. Take them away, and you'd have a meaningless fluff-fest with only half-meant stabs at genuine nationalism. Throw these people in the film, and you not only have comedy relief, but you find that the movie has a heart.

I'm also thankful that the product placement was nowhere nearly as blatant as “Feng Shui's”, though. Chalk that up as another plus point for this film.

All in all, I think this was an awfully cute feel-good movie that is not worth watching alone. Share it with someone special. And you'd realize that yes, this can be love. =)

“Fun” Evaluation: A
“Critical” Evaluation: B/B+

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