A LOVE STORY
MARICEL SORIANO…joanna villanueva (ob-gyne)
AGA MUHLACH…ian montes, 38 (works in his family’s real estate business)***
ANGELICA PANGANIBAN…karyn torres, 22 (flight stewardess)
DANTE RIVERO…(ian’s dad)
T.J. TRINIDAD…jayson (ian’s younger brother)
CHIN CHIN GUTIERREZ…concha (ian’s sister)
JOHN ARCILLA…steve (concha’s husband)
MARK GIL…(joanna’s ex-husband)
CAUTION: the story is ordinary, but execution unique, best watched than read.
PRESENT. the story starts with joanna (maricel soriano) arriving at a dessert restaurant. and then karyn (angelica panganiban) comes in. karyn tells her ian doesn’t know about this. at this point, for me, it seemed intentional that the story would defer from telling us as to who is the wife and who is the mistress. karyn wants to know what her life’s like.
FLASHBACK~~~IAN & JOANNA . the exposition then reveals that maricel soriano is separated and presumably annulled. she was married to mark gil (i forgot the character’s name), but he cheated on her with a certain celine. ian montes (aga muhlach) and joanna lives and co-habits in the same house. many lovey dovey scenes are shown. i must say maricel soriano looks pretty fit for her age. and aga muhlach has six-pack abs! surprising since he had become pretty heavy the last few years.
ian wants to buy a farm for them to live in, but joanna is kinda adamant but gives in. joanna and her ex-husband met and she learned that he three kids, and that celine had died. joanna gets cold feet about the farm. ian tells her that it’s because of her ex that she doesn’t wanna move out of “that” house (joanna’s and her ex’s, and also where they currently live in), and just because he came back everything changed. of course joanna denies that, though i think there’s a tinge of truth to that.
back and forth, family gatherings in the montes house are shown. ian’s dad (dante rivero) has a degenerative brain disease (alzheimer’s presumably), and forgets every once in a while. peculiarly though, he knows he has a son ian but doesn’t recognize ian everytime. he wants his father to be proud of him. back in his younger days he had an accident and he wasn’t able to play in his piano recital. he thinks he disappointed his father because of that. ian is not that responsible either because there’s steve who heads the company anyway, he reasons.
ian’s dad has this motto: “alam mo ang babae, parang bulaklak yan. Huwag mong pipitasin kung di mo aalagaan.” ian has a grudge on her mom, who left them and returned after 14 years. he couldn’t understand how his father could have accepted her back. and ian’s family often reminds him where his wife is and if they are still seeing each other.
ian goes to macau for a business trip, but joanna sees him with karyn. in the cafe, joanna tells karyn she knows it was her. joanna asks how they met.
FLASHBACK~~~IAN & KARYN. kayrn says they met in macau. she was in an elevator with friends and they were rather loud. ian was having a phone conversation about business and he found it hard to communicate because of the loudness. he kind of scolds the girls, particularly karyn and asks her “you are”…and karyn answers “not interested.” cut to next scene showing they are having sex. next morning karyn leaves and they bump into each other at a fountain. here we learn about their age, and karyn assumes he’s already been separated because he is old. ian says he’s only 38 and never been married. karyn is kind of liberated in that she had sex and told ian, “no strings attached”.
anyway, cut to a scene in the montes home and it is assumed that they’d gotten married already, much to concha’s dismay. karyn enters the kitchen and tells ian, “marunong ka palang magpiano” and concha kind of insinuates that there are still many things they need to know about each other.
on the lighter side of their relationship, i love this literal game they play. “puro tanong lang ang sagot. kung sinong hindi sumunod talo.” this also comes entertaining in their future fights.
karyn always works and doesn’t come home more than a month straight. this put a strain on their marriage. while wakeboarding he meets an accident, and another accident…joanna.
PRESENT. karyn asks joanna to end the relationship, telling her “kailangan ko siya. ikaw di mo siya kailangan.” and that she’s pregant. joanna tells her he should tell ian. but karyn tells her something like “bakit si ian pa bakit di nalang ikaw?”
joanna goes home and tells the cooking and happy ian that she had a a 22-year old patient and she’s having problems with her cheating husband…etc. of course ian gets this and a lot of words were spoken and then ian asks her, “minahal mo ba ako”, joanna answers, “sobra”.
presumably because of karyn’s pregnancy, he goes back to karyn who begs to him, and tells him she could forget everything. in between, ian goes to see joanna. he loves joanna more than karyn, it seems.
anyway, in the end, karyn feels something and confronts joanna, and starts having pre-labor pains. joanna calms her down by telling her she doesn’t love ian anymore. finally, ian and joanna break-up.
back at their condo, karyn packs her bags and leaves ian. but ian hugs her and tells her non-verbally not to.
ian goes to his brother jayson, cries and throws this pretty good line “paano kung hindi ko na maayos ang mga nasira ko?”
FAST FORWARD TO FIVE YEARS. karyn and joanna see each other in a dessert restaurant again, presumably the same one where they met. karyn is buying a cake because it is ian’s birthday and joanna tells her something like, “oo nga noh”. they let bygones be bygones.
cut to a scene with jacob and ian in the beach playing around. ian’s dad mistakes jacob as ian and tells him about the whole flower thing. ian’s dad still doesn’t recognize him. ian says he’s made mistakes. and his dad says what’s important is that he learned from it. and that if he were his dad he would be proud of him. ian tells him just assume he was his dad and his dad tells him he’s proud of him.
cut to a scene with karyn arriving. and they hold hands and walk the waters while jacob is ahead, also walking and playing around.
first of all, i’d like to say i like the working title i don’t want you to go better than a love story. even the other working title a love affair is okay. a love story is a bit too generic. the tagline is cool though: “In the greatest love stories, there is a MAN, a WOMAN, and the WIFE who comes between them.” love is really a blur, and marriage is but a piece of paper.
one of the main interests in the film is its presentation of timeline. though it is a bit unconventional, it is not confusing. i watched it from the middle and then restarted but i didn’t get confused. perhaps ’coz i already had the notion that maricel soriano plays the mistress. it’s pretty obvious ‘coz the stars won’t tell, which means the story is kind of different than what you’d expect. i had difficulty writing the summary though because i couldn’t remember which was shown first.
the best thing about the story though is its mirror of realism, it doesn’t employ dramatic overtones. “walang sabunutan, may konting sigawan…makatotohanan.”
i liked the fact that maricel’s siblings weren’t put in much spotlight, and yet i feel that their opinions were expressed overtly, even in just two scenes. the lines are good, though they are not memorable enough like sam milby’s line in maging sino ka man, “i never said…that i love you” or sharon cuneta’s line in madrasta “i was never your partner. i’m just your wife.” but very still “malaman” and with feelings.
the exchange of lines i would have wanted to write here verbatim, like concha’s insinuation to ian that they (ian and karyn) hardly know each other, and the “puro tanong” game. “maganda kasi yung batuhan ng linya”, but i don’t remember a thing. as far as i remember though they were good and relevant.
i also liked the exposition regarding ian’s pain. parents indeed damage their children in as much as they love them, because they love them. speaking from experience though, sometimes, the damage is irreparable. “buti nalang kay ian nakuha ng panahon.”
the actors were good as well. i liked angelica panganiban the child star. the adult angelica panganiban not much. she was commendable here. “nakipagsabayan din siya kina maricel and aga”. i like the character’s fashion sense…oh love the cobalt blue oversized bag, where’d she get it!?! i particularly liked joanna’s gay bestfriend character. even with short exposure, he was funny.
“hindi din ako nainip sa panonood.” the pacing was just right.
*** from imdb: “Aga plays Ian Montes, scion of a shipping empire, who refuses to bask in his father’s business and instead create his own niche in the competitive business world. Maricel is a successful doctor who saves Aga’s life when he met an accident while water-skiing at a resort.” (i didn’t get this at all. akala ko talga he works for his father. this seem not evident in the movie.)overall, it is a good watch to while away time.
anyway, if you liked this film, or the likes, i would recommend the movie to love again starring sharon cuneta and miguel rodriguez. my reasons are written in the entry to love again…afterthoughts. and i also have a detailed summary (there are still like ten photos i haven’t been able to post because wordpress won’t save the changes i make. i think it’s because of too much photos already, causing the page to load with error), it’s entitled to love again…a detailed summary (sharon cuneta & miguel rodriguez).
and also the teleserye maging sino ka man. it was simply the best, storywise, pacingwise, dialoguewise, characterwise, castingwise, allwise (if there is such a word). oh well except for the ending which was extended to abnormal depths for commercial purposes. (“paikot-ikot nalang yung dulo.” the story was going nowhere.) i have an wordpress entries about maging sino ka man that you can read, but nothing beats watching it. abs-cbn has come out with a dvd collection which you can buy for P150 per volume.
let’s just hope book 2 redeems book 1′s ending.