Whether #TeamTisoy or #TeamChinoy ka, hands down,‘The Achy Breaky Hearts’ is #TeamJodi. If you’re undergoing quarter-life crisis, o kung part ka ng Generation X/Y, it’s a movie na makaka-relate ka. It’s a love story, yes, but it does not and should not prevent the single ones from enjoying this.
SYNOPSIS: Single si Chinggay (Jodi Sta. Maria) for more than seven years when she suddenly crosses paths with two men who may be interested in her: isang customer na naging friend na si Ryan (Ian Veneracion), at ang kanyang ex-boyfriend na si Frank (Richard Yap).
DIRECTOR: Antoinette Jadaone
WRITER: Yoshke Dimen, Antoinette Jadaone
GENRE: Romance, Comedy
CAST: Jodi Sta. Maria | Ian Veneracion | Richard Yap | Beauty Gonzalez | Sarah Lahbati | Desiree Del Valle | Erika Padilla | Denise Joaquin | Khalil Ramos | Shamaine Buencamino | Miles Ocampo | Liza Lorena | Rey PJ Abellana | John Spainhour | Elizabeth Chua | Yuan Francisco
Sa opening sequence ng The Achy Breaky Hearts, amidst bouquet of flowers na tinatapon sa ere at mga manyikang “ikinakasal,” nagtatanong ng narrator sa mga manonood: sa haba ng prusisyon, kailangan ba talagang sa simbahan ang tuloy?
It’s a good question to ask, especially in this day and age kung saan karamihan sa mga Pilipino stay single longer than their parents had been and yet single-blessedness has stigma attached to it. Hindi ba relate na relate sa atin — lalo na sa mga kababaihan — ang tanong kung kailan ba tayo mag-aasawa during family gatherings? (At in fairness, may eksena sa pelikula na tinalakay ‘to). More than a love triangle rom-com, The Achy Breaky Hearts also tackles singledom (singlehood?), and it does this with enough… respect (for a lack of a better), making it a more inclusive, relatable story.
Medyo spoiler-ish ang official synopsis so to make it simpler: Chinggay (Jodi Sta. Maria) is a store manager sa isang jewelry shop. She’s been single for seven years, after ng break-up niya with Frank (Richard Yap), who moved to the US. She’s surrounded with her equally single girl friends and they have regular lunches and dinners (parang Sex and The City lang ang peg), and they’re happy. But sometimes, as the ever-present voice-over asks, what if?
Enter sa picture si Ryan (Ian Veneracion), who became Chinggay’s customer when he was buying an engagement ring. When his girlfriend rejects his proposal, Ryan confides to Chinggay. Boom! Chemistry. But wait, there’s more: Frank has returned, ready to win Chinggay back! O ‘di ba, when it rains, it pours, and Chinggay must choose between #TeamTisoy and #TeamChinoy. (Sabi nga ni Chinggay: hindi ba pwede both?)
Regardless kung sino ang manok mo, at the end of the day, hands down, no contest, it’s #TeamChinggay . Magaling ang pagganap ni Sta. Maria sa pelikulang ito. It clearly establishes her as the lead, not someone who’s starring with two leading men. Granted, Veneracion and Yap gave good performances, too (#TeamTisoy slightly on the lead sa mga kilig moments), but they are mere accessories to Jodi’s show. And she knows it. Yes, typical Jadaone leading lady ang characterization ni Chinggay (medyo manic, kalog, may hugot), but at least she has proven that she has the chops to join the ranks of Jennylyn Mercado and Angelica Panganiban sa area na ‘to.
As mentioned, the story is good — refreshing pa nga kung tutuusin. May nagsambit sa sinehan after ng end credits na hindi ito typical “hugot” film (from which Direk Tonet seems to have a reputation na). But beyond that, it’s refreshing because it’s a different kind of love story, or at the very least, uncommon o rare, compared sa mga recent Pinoy romcoms. Gaya nga ng nasabi, it’s inclusive and it’s relatable. It also asks and tries to answer questions Gen X- and Y-ers may ask about life and love. Despite the annoying product placements (which is still annoying despite attempts to downplay them), and the usual familial problems (there’s a B-story about Chinggay’s family), The Achy Breaky Hearts was able to convey its message properly.
Some viewers may get surprised with the ending. Whether they take that as good or bad will be their prerogative, but for this viewer, it’s definitely the former. ♦