Review: Frustrating friendship in 'I'm Drunk, I Love You'

Fred Hawson

Posted at Feb 17 2017 12:02 PM

The movie, from the TBA (Tuko, Buchi Boy and Artikulo Uno) group and directed by JP Habac, is indeed a love story.

The story is about film student Dio (Paulo Avelino) and his female best friend, a social work major boyishly named Carson (Maja Salvador). Carson had been carrying a torch for Dio for the past seven years that they had known each other and played acoustic music together. However, Dio did not treat her anything more than a good friend. Now that both of them are graduating already, will something finally happen?

As with most of his previous work, Paulo Avelino tends to underplay his part, relying mostly on his face to convey his emotion. He is not averse to playing jerks before, and here he is playing another one. Maja Salvador attacks her role with more energy, but she can tend to go too manic when she is playing drunk. Her confession scene was simply too heartbreaking. We all felt for her deeply at that moment, and were all in bated breath in that scene to see what happens next.

Dominic Roco plays Carson's gay best friend, Jason. His role is mainly for comic relief with his sassy one-liners, but he also gets to figure in some of his own memorable moments. Jasmine Curtis-Smith as Dio's classy vegan friend Pathy mainly serves the purpose of being the center of Carson's jealousy and target of her sharp tongue. There are also cameos by Jim Paredes as Dio's dad, and Irma Adlawan as Carson's mom.

Aside from the script and the acting, a big plus about this film is that it features songs with poetic lyrics from artists like Juan Miguel Severo, Kai Honasan, Ebe Dancel, Bullet Dumas, The Out of Body Special, Ang Bandang Shirley, Parokya ni Edgar, among others. A good part of the film was set during the beach-side Daluyon Music Festival in La Union which gave ample time to play these emo love songs to express the underlying thoughts and feelings in various scenes.

It was like the viral Jollibee commercial "Vow" all over again, only this one is feature film length with genders reversed. The friendzone is really one murky prison full of anguished "hugot" and "feels", a pit of quicksand where frustrations of unrequited love mire the unfortunate victim. I may not agree with drowning out the bitterness with alcohol (especially while wearing the sablay!), but I concede that people have been resorting to the bottle for years to numb the cutting pain.

The timing of the story on graduation day is critical in signaling the transition from callow youth to mature adult, a queasy uncertainty millennials can identify with and Gen-X'ers can look back on, fondly or otherwise. In Dio and Carson's case, they have been delaying the inevitable, maxing out on the MRR (Maximum Residency Rule) of UP, finishing their respective courses in seven years instead of four. Eventually though, we all need to grow up and make that jump. 7/10


***

Confession time: I decided to watch "I'm Drunk, I Love You" only because it was going to be accompanied by this short film also from TBA which would bridge "Heneral Luna" with its next chapter, "Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral."

Review of "Angelito"

This 20-minute long short film shows characters we had previously met from the first film -- journalist Joven Fernando (Arron Villaflor) and the two Bernal brothers, Manuel (Art Acuna) and Jose (Alex Medina) -- on the run following the assassination of Luna, being hunted by the soldiers under Gen. Gregorio del Pilar. The Angelito in the title refers the youngest Bernal brother played by child actor Tomas Santos.

If this film was made to make us excited about the upcoming film about Gregorio del Pilar, it worked. Even if this was just a short film, the production values were that of a feature film. It had excellent direction by Jerrold Tarog, and high quality cinematography, film editing, period costumes and production, as well as acting. The open ending definitely whetted my appetite to go see "Goyo," even if nary the shadow of lead actor Paulo Avelino as Goyo was even seen in this short.

These reviews were originally published in the author's blog, "Fred Said."