'A Moment in Time': Dipped in syrupy sweetness-A A +A
Saturday, February 16, 2013
"A MOMENT In Time" had been hyped as a love story with a difference. About the only thing I see that differentiates Star Cinema's Valentine offering from the usual romantic fluff is that it's been dipped in thick, syrupy goo. The movie should be accompanied by an advisory that watching it could trigger blood sugar problems for a diabetic.
Star Cinema is experimenting with a new love team, ABS-CBN telenovela mainstays Coco Martin and Julia Montes, and "A Moment in Time" is the litmus test that will determine if the duo is bankable on the big screen.
Screenwriter Rondel Lindayag made sure the story gives Coco all the opportunity to turn on his boyish charm full blast. His character, Patrick, is a struggling painter who spots his muse, Jillian (Julia) in a crowded LRT train and gets as excited as a puppy fetching a ball. He spends a good part of the movie tracking her down, even painting her portrait on street walls to attract her attention.
They finally meet after he pretends to be hit by Jillian's chauffeured car. Patrick discovers that she is a rich man's daughter, and that she plays the violin. He begs her to pose for him, employing silly antics like bringing a blind street guitarist to help him serenade Jillian in the middle of her campus. Jillian is embarrassed but impressed by Patrick's tenacity.
It doesn't take long for the two to establish a connection. Patrick tells Jillian he lost his mother (Zsa Zsa Padilla) in a hit-and-run incident, leaving him to see his young sis (Ella Cruz) through school. Jillian confesses that she hurt someone in a car accident a long time ago, and that left her with a phobia for driving.
On the brighter side, she is also looking forward to entering a music school in Amsterdam after she graduates.
Two artists, in love with each other, finding strength and inspiration in one another. What could go wrong? A lot.
For one, Jillian's mom (Cherie Gil) bluntly tells Patrick, she doesn't think he is the right guy for her daughter. But that's nothing compared to the blow that was dealt when Patrick finds out that Jillian is somehow linked to his mom's tragic demise.
The relationship quickly unravels as Patrick sets out on a mission to inflict as much emotional pain on Jillian as he can. The poor girl, clueless, tries to hang on to the relationship for as long as she could. In the end she flies to Amsterdam to escape all that anguish.
Patrick comes to his senses and realizes what a stupid fool he has been. His sister rubs it in when she reveals that Jillian had bought all of Patrick's paintings by selling her prized violin.
He desperately tries to seek forgiveness from Jillian but her parents rush her to the airport.
Amsterdam, two years later. Jillian has settled nicely in the Dutch capital, but guess who's also in the city, looking for her?
After a long bicycle chase, Patrick catches up with Jillian. He tells her he has changed, he isn't vengeful anymore, and will she forgive him.
Can't, she says, I'm engaged to be married. Patrick is as devastated as a puppy that's been denied a bone.
But "A Moment In Time" is a Valentine movie, so we all know that in the end everything is going to be all right between Patrick and Jillian. The closing credits roll as the pair traipses merrily around Amsterdam, showing us the sights.
Coco has played more complex roles before, in "Serbis," "Noy" and "Santa Nina," and he seemed to thrive in them. In "A Moment In Time" the shallowness of his character puts him in a straight jacket. He's relegated to flashing a smile that can light up a toothpaste commercial and spouting predictable inanities.
Juliatoo is a victim of a bad script. There is little emotional intensity in her performance, and her Jillian leaves no dramatic impact at all. I'm certain she can do better, given a more intellectually challenging project.