Review: Suddenly It's Magic
This is your formula pinoy rom-com: boy meets girl, falls in love with her and moves heaven and earth just to be with her. Star Cinema produces dozens of these movies yearly so I know you know what I'm talking about and will not expound on it anymore.
What I want to point out is that the back story was actually nice. It's about two things: the love of your life and the life that you love and what happens if these two clash. One side chose love, the other went with ambition; both choices sacrificed the other and both turned up hurting people in the process. Love doesn't exist without hurt; happiness without sadness and sacrifice - they all come in a package, it's just the matter of how we learn from them and how we get stronger through them. The movie tried to tell this story but unfortunately, it failed because there wasn't enough time given to telling it. They focused instead on Mario's pa-kilig moments and tili-inducing scenes (I'm not really complaining, LOL.)
This is a fantasy story - in line with your fairy tales and those happily ever afters. It is so completely far out and unrealistic but we like them anyway since they make us feel good. The reason why Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey are huge successes are because they make you imagine you are Bella and get swept off your feet by Edward or wish you were Ana waiting to get seduced by Christian. Both stories sucked but a lot of people fell for it. I won't lie - I fell for the same tactic in this movie because I love Mario. LOL.
I was pleasantly surprised with Erich - this girl can act. She brought depth to a character that I didn't expect to have any. Granted, I was focused on Mario the whole time but during those scenes where the movie forces me to look at Erich, I loved what I saw. I've seen enough of Mario's movies to know that he can act as well so I wasn't disappointed with the two of them.
What irritates me are straight guys who play gay roles as most of them overdo it, and Joross Gamboa is not an exemption. Can they please study gay people and check how they are in real life and not just play one stereotyped version of a gay guy?
There are a lot of factors that make up a good movie. One is that it gives us what we hoped to get by watching it. This one didn't fail to deliver what I wanted - a lot of Mario pakilig moments to last me until the end of this year. Hehe.
So - should you watch it? If you are a Mario Maurer fan, the answer is a squealing yes. If you like feel good movies, the answer is yes as well. If you are looking for a One More Chance type of movie, just watch Bea and JL again. If you're a straight guy who just got dragged by your GF through blackmail, I'm sorry for your tortuous 1.5 hrs. :))
For Suddenly It's Magic to work it needed to be able to relay something magical to the audience. Thanks to the unlikely pairing of Erich Gonzales and Mario Maurer, and the sheer beauty of Ilocos and Thailand, the film was able to have an unlimited supply of magic that kept the audiences charmed until the end of the film.
While much of the movie was a collection of elements from other Star Cinema romantic comedies, and the story was unoriginal and highly predictable, it was able to succed in satisfying the most basic requirements of a feel-good movie: 1. that it would make the audience feel like they did not waste their time and money, 2. make us care about the plight of the characters and 3. to give us that warm, fuzzy feeling after watching it.
Mario Maurer was every bit of the charming leading man that he was marketed to be. Of course, followers that have seen him in Love of Siam and Crazy Little Thing Called Love already know this. What was surprising though was Erich Gonzales. She was very affecting and effective in her role, conveying a depth that is absent from the limited and flawed script.
Since the cast was announced, several fans have expressed dismay at the choice of leading lady. The more popular choices for the role were Kim Chiu and Sarah Geronimo. After watching the film, I now see why Erich was picked and I can say that it was a pretty good choice.
While flawed, Suddenly It's Magic is worth watching simply because it offers the kind of allure that is often lost in commercial productions whether local or foreign. In an industry where most stories are recycled and pairings are chosen on the basis of marketability, here is a movie that seems to operate with the sole intent of making the audience believe in a kind of love that fairy tales are made of and one that is likely to stay with you when you are in need of a happy thought.
Average Rating: 2.75/5