In an ocean that has been overpopulated with romances of the same texture and color, Joel Lamangan’s Foolish Love is a strange and bizarre creature.
Infatuated with romance
The movie tackles the dogged quest of 30-year old Virgie (Angeline Quinto) to look for Reynaldo dela Cruz, her childhood flame, just so she can rid herself of what she believes is her fate to be sad and loveless.
While playing doting daughter to a mother (Beverly Salviejo) who is busy romancing her young dance instructor and trustworthy, and friend to officemates who are experiencing their own versions of love, she meets a man (Jake Cuenca) who purports to be Reynaldo. They unsurprisingly fall in love.
Foolish Love is infatuated with romance. What makes it particularly interesting is that its infatuation stretches quite far, towards territories that are no longer cute and cuddly.
The screenplay by Jerry Gracio and Jaymar Castro is definitely more daring in its attitudes towards love, exploring romance through a perspective of crazed hopelessness. While it doesn’t work most of the time, the movie’s twists and turns make it worthwhile even just for curiosity’s sake.
Sadly, Foolish Love doesn’t seem to acknowledge or appreciate its intriguing premise or its possible promise. It forces itself within the construct of a commercial romance.
It wants its audience to understand its characters, to fully accept their blatant weirdness and desperation as normal. It riddles itself with jokes and gags with the hope that routine humor can wash away the unfamiliar taste of offbeat passion. It tries to appease expectations of safety in everything that has anything to do with the affairs of the heart.
The movie lacks danger. Lamangan’s direction, while adequate during sequences that do not require more subtle inflections and emotions, seems mismatched with the murkier motives of the plot. The strangeness is treated primarily as comical. The more intriguing darkness are an erstwhile distraction to the light but uninteresting rom-com sensibilities that Lamangan insists on.
Foolish Love is just a missed opportunity.
Beneath its innocent façade and performances that beg for traditional rapport is mistier and more compelling core. Unfortunately, it prefers to be mediocre, to be just another fish, although misshapen and odd, in an ocean of more of the same. – Rappler.com
Francis Joseph Cruz litigates for a living and writes about cinema for fun. The first Filipino movie he saw in the theaters was Carlo J. Caparas' Tirad Pass. Since then, he's been on a mission to find better memories with Philippine cinema.