Walang babaeng nakapula at mataas na stiletto, walang mapang-matang donya o goons na hahadlang sa pag-iibigan ng dalawang nagmamahalan. How to be Yours is a genuine take on life and love. Dan Villegas succeeds in portraying a familiar narrative tackled delicately and with subtlety. Mabusising hinihimay ng #HTBY ang estado ng isang relasyon with grace kaya ang end-result ay isang beyond feel-good movie.
SYNOPSIS: “How To Be Yours” is a story about two people who met and fell in love. Niño (Gerald Anderson), a sales agent who’s bent on attaining stability and Anj (Bea Alonzo), a self-taught cook who dreams of working in a high-end restaurant someday. But when love changes their goals, will their relationship survive the struggles? What if the reasons that made them fall in love are not the same reasons for them to go on anymore? (from Star Cinema)
GENRE: Romantic comedy
DIRECTOR: Dan Villegas
WRITERS: Patrick Valencia and Hyro Aguinaldo
CAST: Gerald Anderson, Bea Alonzo, Bernard Palanca, Ana Luna, Janus Del Prado
Choice A or Choice B ka ba?
One look at the trailer of How to be Yours and you’d think that Dan Villegas’ newest offering is yet another portrayal of the classic push and pull of career and love seen in romantic comedies. Well, it is. But no small thanks to Villegas’ directing prowess, we were brought into a fun, engrossing experience through his sincere look at life and love—all depicted in a light, unassuming fashion.
But don’t get us wrong. Kahit naman sa mga nauusong chick-flick formats ngayon, may mga nananaig na ring formula. Andiyan ang mga makukulit na mga barkada, ang isa-hanggang dalawang-minutong tahimik na hugot, o ang mga karaoke classics na ginagawang anthem ng mga bida (hello, Antoinette Jadaone).
Ang maganda sa mga nag-usbungang bagong breed ng rom-com ngayon, nananaig ang characters kaysa sa plot.Di naman sinasabing mas mahalaga ang mga karakter ng kuwento kaysa sa kuwento mismo. Pero siguro ganito na nga ang evolution of romantic films ngayon. ‘Yung tipong walang babaeng nakapula at mataas na stiletto, o masungit at mapang-aping donya, o kaya naman mga goons na naka-leather jacket na dudukot sa babae para hadlangan ang pag-iibigan ng dalawang bida. Ganun din naman talaga in life, we deal with our own misgivings and deal with difference of views kung kaya minsan nagkakaroon ng friction with people we once thought our “the one”.
Ganitong-ganito ang treatment sa HTBY. ‘Di man sya nalalayo sa ibang glossy romantic comedies na noon pa man ay nai-produce na ng malalaking film outfits, nanaig ang subtle pero genuine direction ni Villegas kung kaya naiba ito at higit na tumatak kaysa sa mga predecessors nito.
First two minutes pa lang ng pelikula, makikilala na natin ang dalawang bida. Salesman Nino (Gerald Anderson) and struggling entrepreneur Anj (Bea Alonzo) meet by happenstance in a Binondo Chinese New Year street-party. The connection is almost instantaneous, a back and forth of landi-glances and coy smiles. Through common friends, the two chance upon each other in a bar, and then, the rest, as they say is history.
Interestingly enough, mature at hindi “pabebe” ang take ng pelikulang ito sa pag-ibig. Granted na sa trailer pa lang obvious na ang nod to popular Filipinoism ngayon on adding “po” on a statement in an attempt to be cute. (exhibit A: When Nino tells Anj, “Ang ganda niyo po” and Anj retorts, “Di naman po masyado”). Dito, walang ligawan. Walang unending chase. Walang magic potion na kelangan inumin. O pustahan, o girl-hates-boy-girl-suddenly-likes-boy bit. It’s just a case of undeniable chemistry. ‘Yun bang tipong, ‘wag mo nang tanungin kung pwede kayo. You belong together. That’s it.
Dito magkakakilala sila nang mahigit pa sa casual hook-up. Nino, the career-driven salesman, has never let love (or anything else) derail his dreams. Anj, the free-spirited cook-aspirant dreams of big dreams. But this is being thwarted by insecurity. Coming from a family of doctors, Anj yearns for a sense of “placement” in a family of achievers. Nino comes to the rescue and becomes Anj’s instant support system.
Sa kalagitnaan ng pelikula, the two experience a reversal of fortune. Anj becomes buried deep with ambition—trying mightily to keep up with the demands of her boss, ang idol niyang si Chef Pocholo (Bernard Palanca). Nino, on the other hand, becomes all too involved as the support system of his loved one, while letting go of his own ambitions. Priorities come in the way, egos come crashing, and conflicts start to arise.
The plot itself is formula. But it is formula done so craftily-well that it is not insulting to the intellect. The beauty in the material are the fully-developed characters na makikilala natin at makakarelate tayo—giving free reins to the audience to root or hate on one or the other. In essence, it is a movie that does not attempt to weave some sort of fantasy. Instead, it depicts how relationships are really hard. Dito pumasok ang genius ni Villegas na nag-mesh perfectly well with the simple but smart writing of Patrick Valencia and Hyro Aguinaldo kung saan tinalakay nila nang may subtlety ang bawat levels ng isang relasyon hanggang sa introduction of difficulties na hinarap ng dalawang character na hindi ito nakakasakal sa audience (case in point: The almost “magpatiwakal na lang tayo”-burdens ng A Second Chance).
Gerald Anderson has matured. Perfect ang mga roles na ganito sa caliber of acting niya. ‘Yung level na hindi umaarte pero may laman at may katotohanan sa isang tingin pa lang sa mga mata niya. Bea Alonzo has grown so fabulously. Napatunayan na niyang kaya niyang makipagsabayan sa mga roles na hindi nahulma sa schools of acting generated by the genre na pinanggalingan niya. Ang unang pagsasama nina Anderson at Alonzo ay naging refreshing.
In the past (#WalangForever), the music of Emerson Texon has helped build a level of drama without being too over-indulgent. The same has worked in this film. May familiarity and restraint sa score na hindi nag-overpower sa mga eksena, paired with a no nonsense cinematography that has aided the cause of the movie. All through-out, the movie has retained putting value on the characters to make the film accessible to its viewers.
Kilig is understated and yet, you end up na rooting sa kanilang dalawa. And that’s how Villegas brought us into a heartwarming experience. Pinayagan niya tayong makichismis sa progress ng relationship nila Nino at Anj from budding romance ng dalawang strangers who ends up liking each other, hanggang sa hinayaan niya tayong makisabaysa pagmature nila into a real couple–hardships and all. Para ka lang kaibigan na pinagkukuwentuhan nila ng kung anong nangyayari sa kanila. From delivery, execution and the clever incorporation of nuances, Villegas wins in bringing us an all-too-familiar, relatable piece that is honest and engaging at the same time.