First Love: Movie Review

"First Love" almost had everything to make it one memorable experience. Its setting and accompanying cinematography from Director Paul Soriano was astounding and outstanding. If we could judge the film based on eye-candy alone, then this was one of the best local films we have seen in that aspect. But "First Love" lacked any surprises - literally and figuratively - it was so mapped out that its story was predictable from its first fifteen minutes.
Set in Vancouver, the film features two Filipino-Candians who fatefully meet each other one day. Ali (Bea Alonzo), who works at a bookshop, has an impulsive and care-free personality who savors every moment of her life. This is due to a condition with her heart that can lead to her death antytime. She has been on the wait list for a heart donor but hasn't had any luck yet. Nick (Aga Muhlach), on the other hand is a venture capitalist, who has a dark past and he has been trying to fix and make-up for his sins for the longest time. Unlike Ali, he has a more somber look in his future due to this. On their first meeting, sparks immediately begin to fly and they connect on a deep and intimate level. But can their hopeless situation be transformed to "hope" and something everlasting?
We wanted to love "First Love" but we just couldn't move on from its massive deficiencies in its writing and casting. It was one of those films that you could really feel its potential trying to ooze out but being limited in a very frustrating fashion. The former we already mentioned earlier - its narrative development being too predictable. But worse, it felt like we were watching a telenovela at times with most of its pivotal moments rendered in an over-dramatic and corny fashion. Its twists and turns definitely cheapened out the whole experience in our opinion. Second was the casting and not that Aga Muhlach and Bea Alonzo had bad performances (in fact, they actually had strong ones) but there was a lack of chemistry between actors. Overall, "First Love" was the perfect example of doing what's needed but nothing more. The film was perfectly acceptable and it had all the basic elements to make it work. But it being too safe meant that there's also nothing memorable or special about it.
Rating: 3 reels
Why you should watch it: 
- the setting and accompanying cinematography was extremely beautiful 

Why you shouldn't watch it: 
- the narrative was competent and acceptable but had nothing special to offer 
- the pairing of Aga Muhlach and Bea Alonzo lacked chemistry
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