Movie review: Basic rom-com gets fresh twist in 'Because I Love You'

Fred Hawson

Posted at Jun 28 2019 01:09 PM

Rael is the privileged son of the Tansingco family of shipping tycoons. He had a beauty queen girlfriend Gianna, who seemed to have more time for her modeling gigs than him.

Summer is a dedicated firefighter who lived with her makeup artist, K-drama addict mother. She was one of the boys at the fire station, and had no interest nor time for beauty rituals or romance.

When their divergent paths crossed three random times, Rael began to think if fate had something in store for them.

 

Shaira Dizon is a very effortless young actress. Even if playing a firefighter would most probably be the furthest thing from her real-life experience, Diaz was spunky and spirited as Summer, no qualms for being deglamorized for this role. Despite the heavy fireman uniforms she had to wear or the tomboyish air she had to project for her character, her radiant natural beauty still shone right through.

David Licauco is a charming young man who looked like he could actually be a Rael in real life. His clean-cut chinito good looks fit right in with the mansion, sports cars, wardrobe, and various accouterments of the rich and famous. Even the helicopter and the polo match did not look too far-fetched. He could still look a bit self-conscious and awkward in certain scenes of his first lead role, but these things made him come across as a real good boy.

Martin del Rosario played Rael's lawyer-friend Tres, a notorious "serial dater" who seemed to have developed a serious crush on Summer. The statuesque Michelle Marquez Dee (Melanie Marquez's daughter in her first film) played Rael's high-maintenance girlfriend Gianna. Samantha Lopez stole all her scenes because of her over-the-top yet lovable portrayal of Summer's quirky riot of a mother, Mimi. Bernadette Allyson and Monsour del Rosario played David's too-good-to-be-true billionaire parents, Vicky and Rusty.

The very generic title, which came from the classic Dave Clark Five 1964 hit "Because" (given a modern spin by Kris Lawrence for this film) does not ensure easy recall in the future. There were some factual errors. Applying make-up to cadavers is usually done in the funeral parlor, not the hospital morgue. There were some logic gaps. Usually the presence of an ongoing romantic relationship is the first reason to turn down a suitor, not class differences. Anyhow, these little nitpicks ultimately did not matter.

The basic plot line of rich boy-poor girl in this film is admittedly very simple and commonly used in local love story films. Nevertheless, veteran director Joel Lamangan was still able to give it a fresh uncomplicated spin, taking full advantage of the chemistry between his two lead actors to create romantic thrills. Even the corny lines and predictable moments actually came off quite entertaining in this wholesome, lighthearted and fun little rom-com.

This review was originally published in the author's blog, "Fred Said."