a love story…summary with commentary & spoilers (maricel soriano, aga muhlach, angelica panganiban)


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.

Published in: on August 15, 2007 at 5:25 pm  Comments (26)  

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26 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Glad you liked it. Ako, I loved it. Very thought-provoking.

    Though you should have probably watched it from the beginning. A lot of people who watched it from the beginning, even if they were correct in their gusses, suddenly changed their minds after the first 1/3 of the movie, and then they were shocked when the big reveal came. Tama pala sila.

    I will tell my friend who wrote the movie about your review and your website. But just to address your comment about the lines not being memorable, my friend explained (to me while she was writing) that it was intentional — she didn’t want to give the movie the feel of a drama/soap opera where characters just had to say some over-the-top line just because. She wanted her characters to talk like real, intelligent but pained people. And for her to communicate effectively the point of the story and the dilemma of the characters, she went for substance, like you said, “malaman.” But

    I’m guessing, knowing her, that she also didn’t want to romanticize an affair and a quickie marriage based on sex. That’s why no overly dramatic lines. The dialogue also had to be more straightforward, I suppose, because the theme and the timeline were already complicated. But that’s just my guess. You will have to ask her if she drops by your site. 🙂

  2. hi verns! thanks for your relevant comment. perhaps it would have given me greater pleasure had i watched it from the start. oh due to time constraints i watched it from the middle.

    and yeah, i kinda got that it was aiming to be realistic, the way the story is being told and with the content of the dialogues. i kinda commend the writer for that coz it is hard to do that…realistic but still “malaman”. though i honestly liked this new approach, i guess the fan in me would always want one very memorable line that goes beyond cheesiness, with a tinge of drama (15%) but still within the scope of reality (85%). if you’ve read my to love again (sharon cuneta and miguel rodriguez) summary and afterthoughts entry, that’s exactly why i liked it so much.

  3. I love the movie that I watched it twice. I just don’t like how Angelica act as a wife in the movie. You’ll feel Joana’s pain in the movie as a mistress losing the one she loves. But on Katryn’s part, I don’t feel her pain and her need for her husband to stay. You’ll really feel Joana’s pain when Katryn was in the hospital she’s working on and she saw Ian and she cried so hard in the restroom and the scene where Ian went to her house and thanked her for taking care of Katryn. Hehehe that’s where I cried.

  4. i liked the movie. title pa lang, you will know that it is about love. actually, i had no plan to watch this movie but i got interested when i saw the trailer. and also we were asked by our professor in filipino to watch it for our “movie review”.

    when i watched the movie, at first i thought that ate angelica was the mistress but i was wrong. si ate maricel pala. in fairness to it, di mo talaga aakalain na si ate maricel. hehehe. isa yun sa mga nagustuhan ko about the movie. super kakaiba yung flow nung story. i like it. ang galing talaga. it’s perfect. sa acting, screen play, sinematography,sound effects and in the direction of the movie.

    i hope you can produce another movie just like this.
    more power to you!^^




  8. I was so happy to be able to watch the movie here in Mississauga, Canada .. me and my friends enjoyed it so much and I was really surprised that so many Pinoys took time to watch the movie.. There was such a long line up.. Thank you so much for the promoter for sharing this movie with homesick migrants like us. I gave it a thumbs up! The movie was superb and perfectly casted.. the story line is very well written and you can never tell how the story should end…honestly, I never really wanted it to end… Being a wife myself, I was really surprised to feel and sympathize more on the mistress’ pain.. Could it be because of Maricel’s superb and convincing performance?? Aga’s acting is an A+++ and he still makes my heart flutter. He is still my number one fantasy and my husband is just second on my list.. and my hubby knows it… Maricel’s performance is commendable as always and so proud of her.. Angelica has turned out to be very pretty and sexy but not really sure what happened to the acting part.. could it be because her acting was overshadowed with Aga and Maricel’s acting or could it be because she seemed to be too young for the role.. In fairness though, she is really not bad.. it’s just that when you are cast of the likes of Aga and Maricel .. you really should try hard to give your all… Once again.. thanks for bringing this movie here in Canada.. just wonder why Aga and Maricel didn’t come here.. heard they went to LA and Hawaii… that was so unfair idols…

  9. I love you still Aga.. everytime you cried in the movie, i cried too.. I love Maricel’s peformance too.. the scene that touch me most was not so much on Angelica’s begging to have her hubby back but the part when Aga and Maricel both cried and accepted the fact that they can never really be together… not sure why but I shed a bucket of tears on this scene.. It was probably because Aga and Maricel are great actors and their pains seem so real and it touched and moved me so much … Kudos to Aga, Maricel and Angelica to this great movie.. we love it here in Canada… love u guys…

  10. love the movie, the actors, the story… one of the best movie ever..

  11. I was amazed to see a huge number of people who patiently lined up to see this soooo beautiful movie. Thank you Star Cinemar for giving homesick immigrants like us a chance to watch the movie here in Mississauga, Canada. The movie was superb, perfectly casted with excellent story line. I am giving it a thumbs up! Aga can still make my heart beat faster, he is still my number one fantasy..my own hubby will always be the poor second.. Aga’s acting is an A +++ and Maricel… the diamond in her shined as always.. it was a commendable performance as always.. Hope they will receive acting awards for this movie — surely these two veterans deserve a trophy.. Angela was sexy, very pretty and very well endowed… but not sure with the acting part.. I had expected so much from her having been around since she was a child.. but I found her acting shallow, no offense.. I could never empathize with the wife role.. as a wife myself, I was surprised to show more empathy and sympathy to the mistress… (my husband said, kasi daw, in reality kontrabida talaga ang mga wifey, hehehe).. It could be because Maricel’s excelent and realistic performance.. you can really feel her and Aga’s pain when they hug and kissed and accepted the fact that they can never really be together because “hindi tama” (this was almost towards the end of the movie..) I cried a bucketful of tears in this part and not so much when Angelica beg Maricel to let Aga go because she needs him more than her — “mas kailangan ko sya, ikaw hindi mo sya kailangan… ” Angelica’s acting may had been over-shadowed by these two veterans but it was not really bad.. Once again… kudos to my Aga and Maricel… it was just unfair that you were not here in Canada to promote the movie.. I found that part so, so unfair.. 🙂

  12. I just noticed in one scene wherein nang muntik ng mapaanak si angelica, then aga rushed to the hospital and when they were already inside the room, one lady doctor came in ang called aga in his first name “IAN”.

    Then nang dumating si Maricel ay pinakilala niya si aga as angelica’s husband.

    So ibig bang sabihin nito na alam din nung duktora ang relationship ni aga and maricel dahil kilala niya si aga because if not, she supposed to call him by his surmane as Mr. Montes.

    Just curious you know. Or this is just one small mistake which was not noticed in the film.

  13. maybe the lady dr is really karyn’s ob-gyne and she knows ian because ian accompanies karyn in her doctor’s appointments.

  14. Hanep!!! Ang ganda ng story!!!

  15. hoooo!~! ang laki ng b00bs ni angelica!!!

  16. nakakarelate ako dito s movie na to coz i experienced being a mistress.. and its really hard for me to accept the fact that he didnt love his wife but he cant leave her coz of their baby.. ouch masakit un para sakin kasi alam ko na may iba siyang mahal pero hindi na cia malaya and the fact na bawal ung relationship namin…. mahirap kayang magpretend… thats was also the reason why i love the song “stolen moments by alicia keys and kung malaya lang ako by kris lawrence” it always remind me of him..

  17. its really hard to let go of a love na u know na tama…pero sa ibang tao mali….then again…..kung maraming tao ang masasaktan even you feel that ur love is not its still not…..

  18. its really hard to let go of a love na u know na tama…pero sa ibang tao mali….then again…..kung maraming tao ang masasaktan even you feel that ur love is ryt its still not…..

  19. i loved this movie! it was masterfully done.

  20. “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.

    Masakit isipin but this is really happening. But I really admire those people that though they love each other, they would rather sacrifice their own happiness than hurt more people if they continue the relationship.

    Pardon me for thinking out loud, but this is the first time that I’ve felt more sympathy for the mistress kahit alam kong mali ang relasyon nila. Ang galing kasi ng pagkakagawa ng pelikula, masyadong convincing. Congratulations!

  21. looking into reality, AGA made the right move in choosing his wife over his paramour. even though he love maricel, angelica needed him and she’s the legal wife.LOVE? WHATEVER!!!

  22. BEST tagalog movie!

  23. i love the movie.. its very realistic. I hate the character of Aga in the story.. I mean, theyre people who are really like that. There was a prob on his 1st relationship with Maricel so whats the idea of getting another gurl for a wife and still holding on to your Ex.. without telling them both. he made lame-lovers out of them..

    I guess the movie really got into my emotions..
    I love it.. hail to the scriptwriter!

  24. gosh i still love my man so much. i miss him. it hurts but i let him go. but how can i if he is always on my mind. pity on me.

  25. I really love the story because of the execution. and until now, I love to watch it.
    hmmm, what is maricel’s line nung nag-confront na niya si aga after sila mag-usap ni angelica? Thanks! :))

  26. hindi talaga ako ngsasawang panoorin..i love how they plot heir story and the characters are so amazing…i love it!a love story…

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