In what must surely be a record for Dumaguete, we had a film run for two weeks in the local theater. Ordinarily, they change programme every Sunday and Wednesday, and the longest a movie usually runs is a week. Apparently, this movie was extra special, hence, the extended run.
The movie in question? "Close to You" starring Bea Alonzo and...uh, two other guys. The story is about as trite as you can get and was already hackneyed to death by John Hughes in the 1980s. The acting and cinematic technique is equally pedestrian, consisting of troubled looks and inescapable piano music. What can I say? At least there was none of the requisite slapping and screaming that's the trademark of Star Cinema productions.
No, it didn't last this long because of its artistic merits. It ran well beyond normal because one of the many locations featured in the film was Dumaguete City.
Ah, yes, it was a little surreal seeing my beloved city up in celluloid. They had a concert scene in Silliman University, with the Presbyterian cathedral as backdrop and hundreds of Dumagueteno extras screaming in the background.
Then there was one scene with the bozos driving scooters down the boulevard. "No bikes allowed on that strip, you bums!" I wanted to scream.
I should have left after the Dumaguete portion, but Bea Alonzo's face was just hypnotic. She's especially cute when she wrinkles her nose and pouts. Ah, what a real beauty! The fact that her arms are a tad big and she looks a little lumpy in jeans in no way detracts from her appeal.
In fact, it took a very brave scriptwriter (and very brave actors) to explicitly work in those qualities in the dialogue. I certainly hope she doesn't travel the path of anorexia. Neither, I hope, does she just let herself go because, well, she obviously has the genes to be...big.
But, ah, yes, what a beauty, that Bea Alonzo.
And now as I write this, I'm not a little disconcerted. You see, Tetchie Agbayani also had some screen time in this film. It's disturbing to see one of the sex symbols of your generation (read: Playboy spread) playing the role of mom to a twenty-something.
Gah. I'm really turning into a Dirty Old Man.