At first glance, Filipino moviegoers would conclude that this latest film from Star Cinema with the Queen-of-All-Media—Ms. Kris Aquino together with the equally charming pair of JoshLia (Joshua Garcia and Julia Barretto) as the three leads in ‘I Love You, Hater’ that opened on Wednesday, July 11 in cinemas nationwide.
Brilliantly crafted story between three individuals that were destined to cross paths and learn some valuable lessons in life.
It takes ‘Three’ to Tango.
The Giselle Andres-film after her recent hit ‘Loving in Tandem’ in 2017 with the hit PBB loveteam of MayWard (Maymay Entrata and Edward Barber), she succeeded in creating and presenting a a romantic-comedy theme, but with ‘I Love You, Hater’ it may still have that romantic-comedy feel but is more of a family-centric movie especially when the three characters met and started engaging with each other.
Sasha Imperial portrayed by Aquino, a digital empress was forced to temporarily hire her two applicants to be her new assistants; this was after the sudden demise of her previous gay assistant.
Both applicants were given a three-month probationary period and after such, she will decide to whom she will be working permanently.
While the three were working together—certain struggles, revelations surfaced. As the story progressed, the triad gravitated toward each other because of certain traits that remind of themselves and only they could ‘tango’ together.
Aspiring for Love, Giving back Love.
The beauty of this film is not about two characters simply falling in and out of love. It’s good to note that there were several writers working on the script to make the whole story work.
Zoey Rivera portrayed by Barretto is a young woman seeking out for love and acceptance since her father has denied her and her family as well. She had to work hard, to be an achiever in order ‘somehow’ win him. While Joko Macaraeg is Garcia, the graphic artist who ended up applying for a post at Sasha World’s after being a victim of an illegal recruiter. He had to pretend and charm his way in; disguising as gay just to be able to get the job just to provide for his family in Paete, Laguna.
Sasha, a highly successful Netrepreneur, is doing her best to stay the best of what she does but she’s crying inside to be noticed by her father (Ronaldo Valdez) who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Clearly, the back stories of the three leads are somewhat ‘identifiable’ in all three. That’s what the moviegoers should watch out for. What made these three connected, what made them paralleled with each other, and how they would manage to triumph in their respective struggles, pains and disappointments.
Notice how the writers mirrored even Zoey’s girlfriends and Joko’s gay allies. These parts of the film are something to applaud as well.
Frankly, the film needs a good follow-up since there were some issues left unresolved, but the three leads were really fitted to their roles.
Characters were Perfectly-Suited for the Three Leads.
Nothing can be questioned about Kris assuming the role. She is Sasha in real-life. If in the film, she yearns for a father’s love—then she really is; her late father Ninoy passed away when she was still young and she grew up without even spending more quality time with him before the assassination.
That scene between her and Joko with Caesar was priceless. And so as the scenes with Zoey leaning on Joko’s dad while dancing and that scene where Joko was crying on his dad’s shoulders. Those were indeed poignant.
The JoshLia tandem never failed the audience. If the critics were persuade by their performances back in the film ‘Love You to the Stars and Back’—the two should again be nominated by their remarkable, mature portrayals of their roles. Julia will always remind me of Claudine Barretto to which the young star is slowly making a name for herself; away from the shadows of her aunts. Joshua is indeed the next John Lloyd Cruz; first it was Aga Muhlach, then John Lloyd and now him.
Star Cinema may have been known for romantic comedies, but this time—the film outfit challenged themselves to present a love story that is timely, witty and maybe crazy. It’s simply a film that makes people realize that love can never be underestimated.
One powerful line that Sasha said, “We cannot force someone to love us, but we can only force ourselves to keep loving.
Catch this comeback film of Kris Aquino along with the JoshLia. The film is still showing in cinemas.