"Fan Girl" brings into the forefront the dubious, fallacious, and unfair expectations people tend to have about celebrities. We've always heard other people say how actors are good people because they portray good people on screen or vice versa. "Fan Girl" in this context will be a shocker and a warning sign for some. But beyond the very interesting fictional off-screen life of Paulo Avelino on "Fan Girl", what we truly loved about "Fan Girl" was the fan girl Jane herself - who has a coming of age experience and story like no other.
Jane (Charlie Dizon) is a sixteen year old girl who is super-obssessed with the actor Paulo Avelino (Paulo Avelino). During one of Paulo's mall tours, Jane hitches on the back of his pick-up truck. Expecting a short trip, Jane instead finds herself stuck and hiding for hours. Eventually, the pickup truck stops at an abandoned house somewhere in the province. Without a way back home, Jane is forced to confront Paulo Avelino head-on. Unexpectedly, the two spend the night together bonding. But the dream ends quickly as Jane realizes that her idol is far from the person she has imagined him to be from the various shows and films she has watched him before.
The first thing that will hook you into "Fan Girl" is going to be its voyeuristic aspect on checking out Paulo Avelino's off-screen persona. We will have to admit, we as viewers felt the same curiosity as our lead character Jane. But important to make this aspect work was Paulo Avelino and he delivers. His portrayal was astoundingly great as he came out as authentic and tangible even in his most frightening moments. In fact, his transition from his clean looks and respectable language to his tattoo-riddled dad bod and foul-mouth was one of our favorite things in the film. It showed how make-up, clothing, acting, and training combine to help anyone transform themselves to look astonishing and kind. But admittedly, the fictional life of Paulo Avelino had some problems as we struggled to keep up with its various twists and turns. Suddenly we find him in an old abandoned house or having sex with someone else with little context to work with. The film eventually works out everything but there's a sense that this fictional life was written in extreme terms to increase the shock factor finding out about it. Beyond Paulo Avelino's character, what makes the film award-buzz worthy for us was Jane. Both the portrayal of Charlie Dizon and the actual development of the character. Simply put, Jane starts off full of dreams and lives in constant fantasy, specifically meeting and even having sex with Paulo Avelino, to escape her harsh reality. But she eventually learns that fantasies are just fantasies and she must actually do something to improve her life may it be riding at the back of Paulo Avelino's pickup truck or helping those around her. Charlie Dizon goes way beyond expectations and was able to provide a nuanced performance as an obsessed fan. Overall, "Fan Girl" may have some chinks in its armor but those are merely small things in the bigger context of its narrative.
Rating: 4 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- great acting from both leads
- the story was nuanced and deep

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the film takes its time to unveil its secrets but it all feels
- the fictional off-screen life of Paulo Avelino was slightly off
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