This wasn’t my first time to watch one, though. I love indie Tagalog movies – this upsurge of raw talent that bravely and triumphantly goes beyond what is popular and forces people to think makes me giddy for the future of Filipino film.
On the other side of the fence, there are the Tagalog rom-coms. These, along with chismis glossies, are my guilty pleasures. Take me to a Tagalog movie with a song title for its title and I revert to a giggly 16-year-old. It does embarrass me, this high school behavior. And I do try to suppress it – that’s why I watch these flicks alone. Besides, The Hub doesn’t usually go for movies entitled I.T.A.L.Y. (I Trust And Love You). He likes Jason Stratham flicks – not that there’s any difference in the intellectual content.
So anyway, imagine my pleased surprise one night in Bacolod, where The Hooligan, The T-Rex, and I spent a week for some R and R (and a bit of work for me). My cousin and her boyfriend announced they were going to watch the Kimerald (Brangelinazation of Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson, get it?) movie Til My Heartaches End. I thought, it’s such a corny title, it must be good! So, with another cousin, I wormed our way into my other cousin’s date.
Til My Heartaches End had all the elements of a Pinoy rom-com: the love team, the best friend as a comic relief (which Matet played with comic flair – the only convincing character in the movie, in my humble opinion), the mother figure (Boots Anson Roa was a let-down, her face frozen with one “concerned” expression, and with lines so obviously recited from memory), the usual plot (boy and girl meet, boy and girl fall in love, boy and girl fight, boy and girl break up, boy and girl meet again accidentally five years later, boy and girl hold eye contact for five minutes while “meaningful” music plays in the background, boy and girl embrace (or kiss, depending on the director’s nerve).
But this movie wanted to be different from all the others. Its director and editor made it so that the story unfolds in flashbacks. Quite confusing in the first 10 minutes. (But not as lost as I was when I watched Pulp Fiction 30 minutes into the movie.) I do commend the effort, though. Especially since from just the title and the movie poster, you could be 99 percent sure of how the flick would turn out. Sure, its lead stars could use some acting workshops. But in the end, I got what I wanted – some good old Sweet Dreams-type shallow romance that never pretended to be an Oscar-winning masterpiece. (And because I was in beloved Bacolod where sweets are sold in every corner, I got to watch the movie while eating piaya.)