Star Cinema isn’t quite through with their annual quota of delicious romantic comedies featuring today’s hottest stars for this year. Their latest feature in collaboration with Viva Films, “Finally Found Someone”, runs on a general plot narrative that is not exactly new or groundbreaking, but still rises above what has come before thanks to superb scriptwriting and premium acting on the part of its stars and the rest of the cast. The heady, giggly combination of hilarious humor and warm and fuzzy feelings, with just the right touch of soul-baring drama, will have audiences feeling all the corresponding emotions at the most appropriate times, making them not just root for the main characters but to feel as they feel too.
“Finally Found Someone” starts with an anticlimactic abortive wedding ceremony. The bride, preschool teacher April (Sarah Geronimo), has been waiting for that day to be married to her “Future Husband”. The problem is, said future husband has skipped town, the country even. What ensues is perhaps one of the most side-splitting slapstick sequences committed to film in recent years, as Sarah G exerts her comedic muscles in order to portray a love-spoony jilted bride in an emotional meltdown that makes her character a viral sensation.
That causes a problem. April’s groom is the son of the local mayor, who has been grooming him to be his successor. But abandoning his bride has got social media sinking his political prospects while supporting April the “#ChosBride”. So the mayor engages the services of Raffy Sandoval (John Lloyd Cruz), a veteran PR executive, in order to salvage the situation by cajoling April to forgive his son Randy (brief appearance by Enchong Dee) and try to renew their engagement. Raffy is a no-nonsense team leader with a solid grasp of how to get people to follow his PR scripts and handling social media, but he has no idea what he’s going to deal with here.
Going into April’s case, Raffy has just been transferred from a political PR job gone awry, so he’s going into this with a sense of keeping his job secure since he is supporting his siblings (one of them with kids) along with his dementia-ridden mother. When he meets April, Raffy is taken off-guard by her attitude about the whole being left by her “future husband”. As it turns out she has been writing letters to Randy about her hopes and dreams about married life and thus scared him off with the pressure.
While Raffy and his team work to control the social media storm surrounding April’s public abandonment, he himself tries to better understand why she professes to be so “in love with being in love”. April in return is intrigued by Raffy’s personality and takes her own steps towards uncovering what makes him, a workaholic who decided to forgo starting a family for the sake of career, tick. Even as the PR guy coaxes the bride into a mindset to take her runaway groom back, something else begins to develop between them. April finds herself questioning her ideals of a “future husband” while Raffy finds himself wondering if it’s not too late to have a family of his own.
Director Theodore Boborol has done a marvelous work with this latest romantic team-up between John Lloyd Cruz and Sarah G, making “Finally Found Someone” their fourth major movie as a couple. Fans have already gotten plenty of tastes of the “AshLloyd” pairing from “A Very Special Love” (2008), “You Change My Life” (2009) and “It Takes a Man and a Woman” (2013), so they’ll be plenty eager to see the latest character portrayal of the two falling in love.
And they do not disappoint. Sarah is superb in playing a super-hopeless romantic who is pretty much brought up on telling the truth all her life. This had the side effect of her confiding her dreams of marriage to the point that they come across as to heavy. Lloyd in turn shows his dynamic acting muscles with the way he portrays a savvy and unflappable PR spin doctor, who turns out to be a fun-loving cool big bro and uncle, who at his very core is also an emotionally troubled soul who has suffered much for not being able to speak what is really on his mind ad in his heart.
The romantic relationship that blossoms between the stars’ respective characters makes for some of the most intriguing script plotting done yet by Star Cinema and Viva, once again cementing their respective names as some of the be-all and end-all of mainstream Philippine cinema. Their supporting cast ensemble helps to flesh out the story of the two at the center of it all, thanks to some genuine yet natural performances from veterans like Joey Marquez and Tetchie Agbayani and the newer generation such as Christian Bables who plays Raffy’s loyal understudy.
A beautiful soundtrack headlined by the song “I Just Fall in Love Again” as performed by Sarah G. is the delicate frosting over the whole filling cinematic cake that is “Finally Found Someone”. I could not recommend it enough to fans of AshLloyd and the powerhouse production tandem of Star Cinema and Viva Films. This is a sublime ode to loving the concept of love, telling the honest truth, and family, that everyone will enjoy.
Photo courtesy of Star Cinema