Finally Found Someone

This is a review of Star Cinema and Viva Films’ movie Finally Found Someone.

 

Star Cinema and Viva Films’ Finally Found Someone is the fourth movie of Philippines’ Ultimate Pop Superstar Sarah Geronimo and ultimate leading man John Lloyd Cruz after their Laida Magtalas – Miggy Montenegro trilogy. Geronimo and Cruz, collectively known as AshLloyd, do not disappoint in their recent movie directed by Theodore Boborol.

The cold open of Finally Found Someone is one of the most hilarious I have watched in a while. The series of unfortunate events that befall bride-to-be turned #ChosBride Aprilyn Esguerra (Sarah Geronimo) is something I will not wish to my two frenemies, but it makes for an entertaining introduction that hooks the viewers from the first nanosecond of the film. Watching Aprilyn gamely push the bridal card, ride a converted tricycle, and climb up the fire escape ladder while fully made-up, in heels and in her trousseau is just half the fun, the other half is staring at her flawless and non-sweaty face and armpits. All these happen while netizens film the proceedings and weigh in on her heartbrokenness. That cold open is worth the price of the movie ticket.

Finally Found Someone centers around Aprilyn’s misery at being jilted at the altar by the almost-absent groom-to-be Randy Garcia (Enchong Dee), henceforth known as #PanisGroom. Randy’s callous act causes his trust rating as a wannabe-politician to nosedive, an anathema to every politician in the history of the world. In order to stop the bleeding and before Randy turns into a pariah, his father, Mayor Garcia (Dennis Padilla) hires Public Relations (PR) magician Rafael “Raffy” Sandoval (John Lloyd Cruz).

Star Cinema and Viva Films’ Finally Found Someone starring Sarah Geronimo as Aprilyn “April” Esguerra and John Lloyd Cruz as Rafael “Raffy” Sandoval. Directed by Theodore Boborol.

Since Randy jets off to god-knows-where, Raffy is forced to alleviate Aprilyn’s suffering. The plan is to make her look happy and unaffected by Randy’s selfishness. Yes, it is to fool the public into believing that Aprilyn is okay, and Randy is not a monster after all. Raffy calls it a “social serye” where Aprilyn will appear as the woman who “Nagmahal. Nasaktan. Nagpatawad. Binalikan” (loved, got hurt, forgave, had the second chance at love).

With the help of assistant Noah Alcala (Christian Bables) and social media influencers Gian (Negi) and Berry (Joj Agpangan), Raffy slowly but surely helps Aprilyn to discover happiness once again, and more importantly, to discover what she really wants. What she wants is not Randy but the idea of a happy family, an idea that is stuck in her mind, and Randy is just shoehorned into it.

As Aprilyn and Raffy spend more time together, they start to open up about their past, present and future. This is where the “Dear Future Husband” and “Dear Future Wife” come in as they both write to their future spouses their most sincere thoughts and feelings.

This is a Star Cinema romcom, so it will not be complete without the token kilig moments in slow motion while something cheesy, preferrably the theme song, plays in the background. There is the classroom scene where Aprilyn, a kindergarten teacher, sings with her handful of pupils while Raffy gazes at her almost lovingly, there is the flour throwing incident where Raffy definitely gazes at her lovingly, and that slow-motion dance and almost kiss while the lyrics of Ipagpatawad Mo perfectly capture their story.

However, the lovey-dovey moments take a backseat when Mayor Garcia threatens to strip the PR firm where Raffy works of its business permit and to hurt Aprilyn if Raffy will not help Randy win her back. Then, all of a sudden Randy shows his face (after the sightings on a giant pillow and on his social media account) and demands to continue the engagement at his father’s behest.

Aprilyn ignores Randy and focuses her attention to Raffy and confesses her love for him and urges him to fight for her. Raffy’s hands are tied and lets her go although it pains him to do so.

In a breakdown scene worthy of an award nomination, Raffy confesses his sins and discloses his resentments towards her mother (Tetchie Agbayani) who left the family when he was a child. His mother, who suffers from dementia, unsurprisingly gives him the best advice and offers him a shoulder to cry on. When Raffy says, “pagod na pagod na ako,” angels in heaven cry (and caused the downpour on Wednesday. They are so taken with Raffy and affected by his sadness that they continue to cry as of this writing, Friday).

A Star Cinema romcom will be lacking if there is no grand declaration of love, so Raffy has to do it. In front of the netizens and during a live interview, Raffy admits his feelings for Aprilyn, his Dear Future Wife.

Finally Found Someone is simultaneously similar to yet a little different from the other three movies of Sarah and John Lloyd. Successful and confident male character with family problems, check. Charming female character with loving family, check. Almost non-existent third party, check. Supportive and opinionated officemates/friend, check. No kissing, check, check, check! Yet, Sarah’s Aprilyn is more assertive than Laida. Aprilyn is not afraid to admit her feelings and to show weakness to her love interest. She calls Raffy a killjoy for kissing her on the forehead (I know that Sarah will not have any kissing scene anytime in the future). Also, this time around, Sarah leaves the dancing to John Lloyd. The lungkot-kembot move is cuter than the sun dance.

The greatest assets of Finally Found Someone are its lead stars. People will pay good money to listen to Sarah and John Lloyd read the yellow pages for two hours. Sarah’s smiles and the twinkle in her eyes and John Lloyd’s naughty looks and nangungusap na mata are more than enough to make the film cross the P100-million mark. Their chemistry is undeniable. When they converse, everything seems natural, from the words that come out of their mouths to their nuanced movements like the Sarah’s gentle slaps, John Lloyd’s caresses and their holding hands while they chant, “Tayo na! Tayo na! Tayo na.”

Sarah is just so good in the cold open. Her comedic timing is impeccable, but she has to work on her mannerisms. There are moments when she acts out of character and her expressions change to show too much eagerness or too much kilig. Her dramatic scenes also need work. She is too aware that she is supposed to be sad or mad, and she overacts by moving her body parts too much or shouting a little too loudly.

John Lloyd is perfect in this film. Sure, he is not as demigod-level of attractive as in his previous movies, but he can surely act. He is intuitive in both dramatic and comedic scenes. When he feels giddy, one can feel it as well. When he goggles at Aprilyn like a love-struck puppy, one wishes to be Aprilyn at that instant. When he cries, it strikes a chord in the very core of any human being.

Finally Found Someone has one too many supporting characters, which are nonentities, including Randy. Instead of making the movie richer with their contribution, they just take away precious screen time from those who matter in the flow of the story. The exceptions to this mediocrity are Noah and Mayor Garcia. Christian as Noah embodies the Laida Magtalas of A Very Special Love. He is full of energy, positive vibes and excitement to work for Raffy, someone he admires. He is kind-hearted and wants the best for everybody. The Noah character is a departure from Christian’s rouged and wigged Barbs in Die Beautiful yet he is just as captivating. Dennis is the representative of everything that is wrong in Philippine politics – a corrupt official who perpetuates political dynasty. He wears bling like a rapper and hurls threats like a hitman in a B-movie. Mayor Garcia is a despicable character, but Dennis plays him brilliantly.

Finally Found Someone is the most mature among the Sarah-John Lloyd movies, but that is not saying much given Sarah’s (personal) limitations. It is a formulaic film that mainly banks on the irrefutable rapport of its stars, yet it is far from disappointing. Sarah shines in the light scenes, those that involve singing, and in the confrontation scene. John Lloyd simply shines throughout the film. Mata pa lang niya ulam niya.

 

For the hugot lines of Finally Found Someone, please read Finally Found Someone – Hugot Edition.

 

Stray Observations:

  1. How many times can Dennis Padilla and Joey Marque act as parents in Star Cinema films? Dennis was in Can’t Help Falling In Love (technically an uncle) and in Luck at First Sight. Joey was in Barcelona: A Love Untold and in My Ex and Whys. Are they the Pambansang Tatay?
  2. The cookie joke stopped being funny after the first time. On the 125th time, I just rolled my eyes.
  3. Who buys cards these days??? The designs were juvenile, by the way.
  4. Group hug = answer to all types of problems

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