Jessica Zafra: Unofficially A Good Review

Feb 25, 2012 by

We do not deny that we enjoy mocking stupid movies, but anything done too often becomes tedious and we’ve had too much practice lately. So in reviewing the latest product from Star Cinema, we have resolved to obey that teacher (we’ve forgotten her name) who told us, “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything.”

Unofficially Yours, directed by Cathy Garcia Molina,  starring John Lloyd Cruz and Angel Locsin

1. In an age of rocketing production costs, Star Cinema manages to keep production design costs minimal by using only three locations!

1.1. The apartment John Lloyd’s character lives in.

1.2. John Lloyd’s family home/dental clinic

1.2.1. which could also be 1.1.

1.3. The office of the Manila Bulletin.

1.3.1. We kept expecting Queen Melo to walk in and pose for paparazzi shots with the stars.

1.4. “Boracay”, but only in tight shots so it could’ve been any beach.

1.5. Three or four “restaurants”

1.5.1. which could’ve been in the studio, or 1.1. or 1.2.

2. With their legendary concern for the public welfare, the producers have turned up the movie’s volume so the hearing-impaired need not be at a disadvantage.

2.1. No need to employ a sign-language interpreter.

2.2. No need to subtitle the DVD.

2.3. In fact they could’ve saved on dubbing costs altogether by using live sound. In Manila? How can the actors be heard over the noises of traffic etc? Well, just have them speak at the top of their lungs. It’s naturalistic.

3. The male lead is not compelled to conform to the prevailing standards of male beauty (which these days are higher than the standards of female beauty).

3.1. No giant pecs, rippling biceps or six-pack abs!

3.2. Anyway it’s not John Lloyd Cruz’s torso the audience admires but his face and actual acting talent.

3.3. To explain why John Lloyd is not svelte, the filmmakers cast plus-size actors as his family. How cheeky!

4. Despite the subject matter of Unofficially Yours – casual sex developing into love – the female lead keeps her clothes on at all times.

4.1. But for the occasional flash of cleavage, Angel Locsin is covered up like a nun in high heels. So this movie is safe for grannies.

4.2. During the sex scenes, it’s John Lloyd who shows some skin.

4.3. Unlike in traditional Tagalog movies, the sex scenes are not introduced or scored with corny saxophone music.

5. What great friends the protagonists have!

5.1. John Lloyd has three housemates to give us the blow-by-blow account of his relationship with Angel.

5.2. Angel has two friends at the office to remind her of her No Dating Co-Workers policy.

5.3. John Lloyd’s parents and sisters are constantly urging him to go out on dates.

5.4. Angel’s mother encourages her to keep looking for love.

5.5. All these other characters forego personal lives of their own so they can devote every minute to annotating John Lloyd and Angel’s relationship. Awww, why can’t your friends be like that?

6. The musical scorer gives us easy musical cues so that we know exactly how to feel in every scene.

6.1. There’s nothing worse than not knowing which facial expression goes with a particular plot development. Now you don’t have to look furtively at your seatmates to know how to feel.

6.2. You don’t even have to pay attention to the dialogue, the score will tell you everything.

7. We all know that Pinoys love to sing – well here’s a movie they can sing along to.

7.1. John Lloyd expresses his tender feelings by singing old OPM numbers to Angel.

7.2. Angel expresses her tender feelings by singing old OPM numbers to John Lloyd.

7.3. No more awkward struggle to find the right words. Just sing the collected works of Vic Sotto.

8. It’s so considerate of the filmmakers to explain everything so the audience doesn’t have to exert any mental effort.

8.1. After all, movies are supposed to be escapist fare.

8.2. Angel resists falling in love with John Lloyd for three-quarters of the movie, but finally reveals her tragic romantic history in a ten-minute monologue. So that’s why she was resisting him!

8.3. She tells him all about the bad boyfriend who broke her heart and moved to New York (which in Star Cinema movies is where all the bad girls and boys go). And right after that, when you’re wondering who the bad boy was, he appears!

9. Unofficially Yours reminds us that nothing can stand in the way of true love.

9.1. The protagonists have a one-night stand in Boracay and she leaves without giving her name or number.

9.2. He decides to abandon his dental practice and become a journalist, so he gets a job at the Bulletin and guess who trains him at the paper. Yes, the girl he “met” in Boracay!

9.3. She tells him all about her evil ex, and guess who his next interviewee is. Yes, the evil ex!

9.4. At dinner with his family, his sisters tell her about his ex, and guess who walks into the restaurant. Yes, his ex!

10. With no movie to distract you, you can spend the entire two hours groping each other at the cinema. Bring a date!

Follow Jessica Zafra’s blog here: http://www.jessicarulestheuniverse.com/

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