What’s good, what’s bad, what’s meh at the MMFF

By Zsarlene B. Chua

Movie review
All of You
Directed by Dan Villegas

IF YOU ARE planning to watch Dan Villegas’ All of You and expecting that it would be like his English Only, Please which starred the same couple — Jennylyn Mercado and Derek Ramsay — you would be absolutely disappointed.

All of You is not the sort of romantic-comedy that English Only, Please — where Ms. Mercado played a perky English tutor and Mr. Ramsay a cosmopolitan Fil-Am who wants to pen a scathing letter to his cheating ex — was. All of You is about Gabby (Ms. Mercado), a food concepts franchise specialist who wants to get married, and Gab (Mr. Ramsay), a wealthy bar owner who doesn’t want to get married.

If you’re looking to be charmed as much as you were with English, you would also be disappointed as this film is way more dramatic and confusing.

Warning: Many spoilers ahead!

Though billed as romantic-comedy, the film is a hardcore romantic drama as the ill-suited couple who meet through an online dating app try to make the relationship work by living together, even if what they wanted out of the relationship differs.

Five minutes into the movie, Gabby is dumped by her fiancee of six years (Rafael Rosell) after a shouting match as they search for a parked car. An hour and 10 minutes into the movie, Gabby breaks up with Gab after once again engaging in a shouting match on the side of the road.

Both times, the men talk about how imposing Gabby is and Gabby tells both men how they always think she’s the one who’s wrong.

I tried hard to like the movie as it delved into the disillusionment of long-term relationships and discussed the problems that arise after the honeymoon is over, but the sloppy writing made it difficult to sit through a movie which is composed of more than an hour of couples fighting. Tension is high from beginning to end, with a 40-minute respite showing the couple engaging and/or implying sexual activities representing the high points of the whirlwind relationship.

And one of the sex scenes is so cringe-worthy with all the closeups and slo-mos.

What makes the film hard to like is how the reasons for the protagonists’ issues are never tackled: it never fully explains why Gab doesn’t want to marry though it is implied that he wants to be like Peter Pan and stay forever young (his bar is named Neverland and he has an ex called Wendy, played by Solenn Heusaff) and while it hinted that the reason Gabby wanted to marry was because her mother never married her father, this was never explored.

The ending feels unfinished, unsatisfying, and rushed. They break up, and while one may have hoped Gabby would find her backbone and realize they would never make it and finally let go, her resolution to break up for good lasts for half-a-minute — then the credits roll.

So there, All of You is not a feel-good film and you probably will leave the cinema with more questions than answers like, “What the hell, Mr. Villegas?” He won’t probably win Best Original Story this year like he did for the 2015 MMFF entry #WalangForever (which also starred Ms. Mercado), and Ms. Mercado probably won’t win the Best Actress trophy as she did for both #WalangForever and English Only, Please.

MTRCB Rating: R-13