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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Apr 2, 2011

Catch Me I'm in Love - Movie Review (English)

WE’RE HAPPY for Sarah Geronimo as her “Catch Me, I’m In Love” is a hit. She has proven that it’s not just her films with John Lloyd Cruz that can be a hit. “Catch Me” will remind you of Julia Roberts’ “Notting Hill” where she played a big movie star who falls in love with a simple guy, Hugh Grant, with the roles reversed. Here, it’s Sarah as Roan who’s a simple girl working with a non-government organization called Helping Hands. Her big secret crush is Gerald Anderson as Eric, the irresponsible, carefree son of the president of our country no less. They meet at her office when Eric represented his mom, the First Lady. It’s a cute meet with Sarah bumping her head on the glass door then making a snide comment against Gerald that he hears. She was then called to Malacanang and she thought she’d be scolded by the President who, in fact, wants to get her to be in charge of Eric’s immersion program to make him a more responsible person. It’s easy to see na ito that this will be the chance for them to fall in love with each other. Roan takes Eric in the province where she does volunteer work. As expected, they are at odds at the start. Eric doesn’t even know how to cross a hanging bridge. In the rice fields, he slips and falls into the mud then pulls Roan into it also for a cute “kilig” moment where Gerald takes off his shirt to display his buff torso. Soon, he’s asking Roan: “Will you be my girlfriend?”

They go steady, but it’s not the typical Pinoy love story with villains. Eric’s parents quickly accept Roan and even one possible contravida, Nicole (Sam Pinto), turns out to be harmless. The main conflict here is internal: it’s Roan’s fears and insecurities that their relationship won’t work after she heard people saying “Hindi sila bagay sa isa’t isa.” But in the end, she realizes she loves Eric so much and she doesn’t really care what people would say. The ending where Sarah gatecrashes in the presscon of Gerald as he’s about to leave for abroad is borrowed from the ending of “Notting Hill”. Another comic scene, the dinner where Sarah doesn’t know how to eat escargot (snail) is also taken from Julia Roberts’ “Pretty Woman”.

In all fairness to Sarah, even if her scenes were copied from Hollywood films, she was able to carry them all with aplomb. She’s a natural comedian who’s very charming in her hilarious scenes but she also handles her dramatic scenes well, particularly that farewell scene she had with Gerald at the Manila Hotel grounds. Gerald also shows that he can act well (he already did in “Till My Heartaches End”), aside from the fact he looks every inch a heartthrob leading man. He certainly proves he can be on his own and not just identified with his love team with Kim Chiu.

Star Cinema really supported them with Christopher de Leon and Dawn Zulueta no less as Gerald’s parents and with Joey Marquez and Almira Muhlach as Sarah’s parents. No doubt, this movie’s intention is to just make kilig the viewers and Director Mae Cruz definitely succeeds in her intentions. Cathy Molina now has a rival in making rom-coms of this sort that is lifeblood of Star Cinema.

Related Link
Catch Me I'm in Love - Movie Review (Tagalog)