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In My Life: Movie Review


"In My Life" marks the return of Vilma Santos (aptly named the "Star for All Seasons") after a very long absence at the big screen. It also marks a rarity in Philippine cinema - starring two big league actors as gay lovers. With all the star power and all the hype, all seems well for "In My Life". But films can suffer a lot when people expect too much. Here's hoping that "In My Life" won't suffer the same fate that many films have taken. Read on if "In My Life" holds it weight in gold.







Shirley (Vilma Santos) is a single mom and public school librarian. When her daughter Dang decides to leave her to go to Australia, she decides to go to New York to stay with her gay son, Mark (Luis Manzano) as a getaway from all her problems. There, she tries to start a new life with the help of Mark's lover, Noel (John Lloyd-Cruz) while also trying to rekindle her lost relationship with Mark. But just as things are getting better for her in America, she finds out that her son and Noel are keeping a dark secret from her.

We really wanted "In My Life" to be one of the few films that we will always look back on and cherish as a film that brings a glimmer in our eyes. Unfortunately, that dream won't happen. So what made "In My Life" bad? First, it was definitely not the acting. We all have praises for the three main protagonists. Vilma was just at her best here and John Lloyd showed how much drama he can show out. Luis needs more improvement but he actually performed well being a homosexual so still, props to him. Second, it also wasn't the lack of drama thereof. There were oodles upon oodles of scenes where tears will fall and we also liked the occasional break from all the heaviness with light comedic scenes scattered all over the film.

Unfortunately, even with all the topnotch acting and drama, the simple truth is that "In My Life" left out one big aspect in a film and that is the story/plot. The story of "In My Life" was just too much for us too digest as there are a lot of unnecessary subplots happening all over the place (especially by the end of the film). As a viewer, we just wanted it to end but the film just gave more, more and more. We think the writers just forced it to have lots of dramatic avenues just for the sake that people will cry. As the saying goes, too much of anything is bad and this holds true here as they do not mesh well. Cry you will but you will might also wonder why. Even though it had unusual twists, it will make you think if it was really necessary to have them happen that way as an effective means to move the story forward. For us, they were not.

To sum it all up, "In My Life" is still a wonderful experience and a film that people could enjoy. Sadly, it was not the hype that destroyed it - it just didn't have much direction in its storytelling and that hampered it into becoming a true blue masterpiece.

Rating: 3 reels





Why you should watch it:
- the acting was superb but with a mediocre plot, the actors can only salvage so much with their performance
- a tearjerker for some people

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the story was just too complicated and would have been more effective if it was shorter and more straightforward - this simply ruined the film a lot!


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