(SPOT.ph) There’s nothing pakipot about Unofficially Yours. Cathy Garcia-Molina’s latest movie opens immediately with the meet-cute: Ces (Angel Locsin) and Mackie (John Lloyd Cruz) are at a bar and begin discussing the merits of soup versus meat. Their banter is thinly veiled sexual innuendo articulated in deep and almost poetic Filipino, reminiscent of the great sex comedies of the seventies and eighties and for a moment John Lloyd could have been Jay Ilagan and Angel could have been Rio Locsin.
But this is not 1979, and there’s no room for pakipot. After their verbal foreplay, Ces and Mackie waste no time and jump energetically into bed together. The next morning Mackie wakes up alone. He wonders about his first official one night stand: the verbose tequila-guzzling beauty leaves him without giving Mackie the chance to get her name or thank her for the casual sex.
It’s a very promising opening for a Star Cinema romantic comedy, especially their "Valentine’s offering" featuring two of their biggest stars. Easily it could have fallen into the abyss of lameness but it doesn’t. Dare I say it? They got it right this time.
Watch the trailer
Like meeting someone for the first time and realizing that there’s something there, Unofficially Yours first attracts us with sheer cuteness: John Lloyd’s cute factor is at an all-time high, lovehandles be damned--he is really the quintessential nice guy you want to bring home to your momma. Meanwhile, Angel is looking gorgeous in this movie with her glowing skin and perfect shiny hair. Together they create an easy chemistry that’s not melodramatically strained and cheesy. Both stars are exceedingly easy to watch in this movie, probably because they are comfortable with each other and in their respective roles.
And then it sustains interest using humor and charm. Most of the laugh-out-loud moments (and there are many) are from John Lloyd’s effortless timing; he is the King of Effective Pa-Cute, melting Angel’s taray facade and ours. (Also, the supporting cast is awesome: the roommates/officemates/family in this movie are all priceless. Mackie’s family is fat and loving, while the mother of Ces (Tetchie Agbayani) is a hot mess who teaches her daughter about courage.)
Finally we’re reeled in by the deepening attachment that no one can truly explain but everyone understands. Unofficially Yours shows us how two people, one a hopeless romantic and the other a tough cynic, fall in love. It’s entertaining and funny and poignant. Yes, there’s crying but only near the very end. I would totally watch it again and willingly overlook the public declaration of love, which is almost a requirement in mainstream rom-coms. Fortunately, they also require a happy ending, which is something I can live with, especially in movies but not always in real life.
Here’s The Aloof singing about a one night stand: