Second chances

My friends convinced me to watch A Second Chance, the movie sequel to the highly successful One More Chance (which I didn't watch completely—I saw parts of it, but couldn't stand it). I'm not too big on romance, and I don't understand it when people, even my close friends, sing their praises for John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo. Their chemistry on-screen is supposedly perfect, like they're meant for each other.

I said I'd give this movie a try; I had nothing else to do but read the chapter on Disorders on Rhythm in Harrison's to lull me to sleep. We watched it last night, after dinner. The crowd was less than I had expected, but the movie house was still full, save for a few rows of empty seats in front. 

I can't give an unbiased review, but the movie wasn't bad. I had a problem with its wordiness, though—it was as if Popoy (Cruz) and Basha (Alonzo) had to recite essays to each other every single time they quarreled. And they quarreled every 15 minutes or so, usually with tears or broken ceramics. The writers were painfully trying to make quotable quotes out of every scene. 

The movie is set seven years after they'd been married. The contrast couldn't have been more stark. Whereas they looked fresh and positive before, this time they look jaded, tired, fat, as if nothing was good in the world. It is a story of marriage struggles and a valuable object lesson that one shouldn't work with a husband or wife, if it can be avoided. Popoy is supposed to be a world-class engineer, Basha an architect, the two of them co-founders of a construction firm. 

Their company starts pretty well in the beginning, but problems emerge when Basha endures a spontaneous abortion. I blame the downward spiral of their lives to their OB-Gyn, who advises Basha to take a year off work because she should rest. The stress in the firm wasn't going to help in her pregnancy, her doctor must've told her. But for an entire year, with no work ups for APAS or other causes of secondary infertility?! As a result, Popoy is pressured to take over the company alone, hiding his failures from his wife, who wonders if it is she who is the problem.  

The film did have some redeeming qualities. I thought the cinematography was nice—Manila didn't look so ugly. John Lloyd and Bea had a certain chemistry; they looked comfortable together. Janus del Prado and his talkative specimen of a daughter offered welcome laughs to interrupt the heavy and verbose exchanges. Clearly Director Cathy Gracia-Molina has perfected the art of making formulaic romantic films that speak to the public—films that always have happy endings.  

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