Reviewing (and watching) Star Cinema's One More Chance is an emotional roller coaster... mainly because the story is a little too familiar to my own. As Popoy's (John Lloyd Cruz) killer line said:
"She loved me at my worst. You had me at my best. Pero binalewala mo lahat yon."
I had no intention of watching this film (I thought it was a typical teenybopper movie) before I heard that those lines were in the film. When Leah, John, and I watched it, we couldn't help but give our undivided attention to what we were seeing. Leah was crying uncontrollably -- identifying fully with Basha (Bea Alonzo), my heart was thumping vigorously as I continuously screamed at Popoy, and John was wide-eyed and biting his shirt... probably due to the sight of Bea Alonzo, Nikki Gil, Maja Salvador... and Popoy's pathetic (lovestruck) antics.
Was the movie really that good? Not really. But virtually having one's love story immortalized in film tends to soften one's heart... but also to wish more from it. The movie was funny (at times), and moving (maybe because it's familiar?), and more than what I expected. On the other hand, they had such a rich and promising material... but the film makers weren't able to fully mine that lodestone. It was also frustrating how underdeveloped were the motivations of the characters. We barely even got a glimpse of Trisha (Maja Salvador) -- she was a critical part of the conflict in the story, and would have made the story so much richer if we knew her more.
For some reason, the movie was also made to have some surprising sex scenes. I said 'surprising' because they could have done without those scenes and replace them with other scenes that could have made us root for the characters more. It was as if the script writers got lazy doing their job and just put in those sex scenes just to establish that they 'love' each other.
Despite the frustrations, One More Chance is one of the better Filipino movies that I've seen. It's a story that says that even finding the one that you want to grow old with doesn't assure an automatic happily ever after. Sometimes we have to go through the bitterest of journeys so we know how sweet it is to come home. But hey, it feels like an autobiography to me, so maybe you shouldn't take my word for it.