Friday , May 25, 2018

Unexpected life lessons from ‘Unexpectedly Yours’

THE moment I saw the “Unexpectedly Yours” teaser of the new movie starring Sharon Cuneta and Robin Padilla, with her chiding him as “Adik” and him replying as “Sa ‘yo”, at the same time cue in the “Adik sa ‘yo…hinahanap hanap kita” instrumental by Rivermaya for the penultimate cheesy, toe-curling, tagos sa buto, kilig to the bones, giddy experience; I was hooked! A few mommies and I set the date to watch it, and it was indeed the perfect movie to watch with friends.

We were the noisiest bunch in the theater.

The movie was also on my radar because Sharon is a genuinely nice person. I’ve met her several times through presscons and movie premieres (care of my entertainment journalist father) and through the UP Open University, where she finished schooling for her Associate in Arts Degree at a time when my late-mother was the Vice Chancellor. When Mom died, Sharon extended kindness and help, the likes of which a person just never forgets.

Sharonian na, sige! She just fans the flames of fandom in me that is a stark contrast to my usual nerdy persona. Besides, trashy romance consumed once in awhile is good for the soul! I was actually expecting Robin and Sharon’s team-up to be on the corny side, but I was unexpectedly surprised that aside from eliciting buka-bibig-yugyog-bilbil-kind of laughter and copious amounts of genuine tears, it also imparted a lot of life lessons. (For those who haven’t seen it, stop right here. Spoilers galore!)

Lesson 1: Life is better with friends

Sharon’s crazy escapade starts with her friends (Maritoni Fernandez, Yayo Aguila, Marina Benipayo, Toby Alejar) throwing her a birthday bash in an upscale hotel room. They encourage her to move on from her philandering husband (John Estrada). Sharon gets drunk and mistakenly collapses in the room of Robin. The next morning, she runs away surreptitiously without saying goodbye to him.

They cross paths again with her crazy friends because they all turn out to be high school classmates. All her friends cheer her on as he makes the moves. When she acts neurotic, they tell her straight to her face what the problem is. Truly, we all need friends not just to share fun times with, but to share problems with. They worry about our issues so we wouldn’t have to go through tough times alone!

Lesson 2: Know your worth

Sharon, who’s been dumped by her husband for a younger woman, feels lost. Their rebellious daughter (Julia Barretto) is alienated from her and wants to work in London to see her secret boylet (Jameson Blake). On top of that, Sharon is having career problems with her ideas being eclipsed by a younger colleague (Maxene Magalona).

The humor of the movie lies in the comedy of errors in Sharon’s desperation to feel accepted, to feel validated, and to feel worthy. Sharon doesn’t hesitate to make fun of herself and her excess weight. Her character is relatable and vulnerable as she goes through mid-life crisis and menopause. In the end, she learns to LET GO of all these toxic people and ill feelings.

She eventually realizes her true value as a person. These empowering truths have just been there within her and right under her nose all along. She declares in the end: “Real success is not being the best, it is learning to accept the less that we have…I will be me, and I will choose to be happy!” Spot on…counting blessings and contentment are the real elements of success.

Lesson 3: Love has no expiration date

Robin is Cocoy, a balikbayan seaman who is the cash cow of his entire family. It’s the reason he is single. He’s had a crush on Sharon since high school, but he remained invisible to her as she’s in section 1 (the valedictorian to boot) and he’s in section 6. They meet again in their middle age and he is finally able to express his feelings. Over the years, true love blooms, changes, and grows stronger! No one is ever too old to love.

To be honest, both scenes where Robin and Sharon exhibited a mad case of “kilig” brought the movie house down, garnering a lot of screams from the audience. Sharon may have some added padding, but her innate beautiful personality still shines through. Robin’s appeal is evident in many scenes, especially when he delivered his punchy lines and when he shaved his moustache. As cheesy as it may sound: ang love at kilig, walang pinipiling edad!

Lesson 4: Mothers have your best interest at heart

In the movie, Sharon has a meddlesome and overbearing mother (Pilar Pilapil). At some point, her character also became strict with her 21-year-old daughter, Julia, which results in the latter running to her dad. In the end, Sharon realizes that she has to give her daughter space to fly.

Mothers like to believe the adage that they know what’s best for their children. They’ve gone through anguish and heartache. Although they did flourish amidst difficulty, mothers don’t want their children to experience any pain. They want life to be a bed of roses for their children and hope these kids learn from their own (mothers) mistakes. But the reality is, mothers may have the best of intentions, but life/experience is a better teacher.

Lesson 5: A man who is genuinely interested in you will never keep you guessing

From the start of the movie, both Robin and his nephew (Joshua Garcia) were clear about what they wanted from their neighbors (Sharon and Julia). A man who has genuine intentions does not play games and lays out the role he wants to play in a woman’s life. A good man pursues a woman he likes with transparent communication, outmost dedication, and consistent effort.

Sharon and Robin go through a rough patch and, for a while, making it appear as if they're not really meant for each other. But in the end, as they say, love conquers all. Throughout the movie, we see them rehearsing for a dance number they'll present in their high school reunion. The movie concludes with them finally dancing not just together but also with their friends. And it gives you the feeling that yes, it's nice to take the journey called life with a loved one beside so you can enjoy life’s unexpected twists and turns together!

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