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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.

Nov 13, 2012

'A Secret Affair' Review: No Real Persons, Only Caricatures

‘A SECRET AFFAIR’ uses the same love and lust mold used by “No Other Woman”. Two of the stars are even the same, Anne Curtis and Derek Ramsay. But Cristine Reyes has been replaced by Andi Eigenmann.

Just like its predecessor, it also has the same “kabaklaan” sensibility, with the females coming off as “babaeng bakla”. There are no real persons in both movies, only caricatures. As such, you don’t sincerely sympathize with any of them.

Since “No Other Woman” clicked with audiences because of its quotable lines, we now have a surfeit of that here in the fiery confrontation scenes. Almost all characters mouth ridiculously funny lines apparently meant for viewers to quote them.

"Please choose me! Please use me! You can even abuse me! And try to re-use me! Just don't refuse me!"

“Anong akala mo sa lalake? Bulate? The early bird catches the worm?”

“Kaya nga kabit kasi parang epoxy kung kumapit, kaya kerida kasi kiri, kaya mistress kasi nakaka-stress.”

“And I faked every orgasm!”

“Magkape ka nga ng kabahan ka naman. Pero alam mo kunsaan masarap magkape? Sa burol mo.”

“Bitch ka lang. Ako, super bitch!”

“Don’t confuse love with sex, sweetie!”

“Cheating is not an accident, it’s a choice.”

Anne after slapping Andi: “Aray! Ang sakit ha! Ang tigas talaga ng mukha mo.”

The characters move in the glamorous world of the wealthier members of our society. The girls are given names meant for men. Anne is Rafi, a stylist, and Andi is Sam, a rich spoiled brat. They’re supposed to be good friends. But Anne’s chef boyfriend, Anton (Derek), had an earlier fling with Sam who seems to be obsessed with him. Derek proposes marriage to Anne and she accepts, but on the day of the wedding, she gets cold feet, backs out and goes abroad. It’s good Andi is there to entertain Derek, stalking him in a spa and making love with him in various imaginative ways every chance she gets, even on a stairway. For Derek, it’s just casual sex, but Andi thinks otherwise. When Anne returns and asks for Derek’s forgiveness, Andi is not willing to give him up that easily. And the fireworks begin.

Filmed with glossy visuals and slick production design set in plush clubs, opulent homes and using expensive cars like Porsche and Benz, this movie certainly gives the masa viewers a high end world they can only experience in escapist films like this. The characters speak mostly in English and use social media like Twitter and Facebook. The distorted values they convey truly belong to a more decadent generation. Anne opts to have just a live in relationship with Derek instead of having the sacrament of matrimony. In this day and age, obviously they haven’t heard of marriage preparation programs like the Discovery Weekend or Pre-Cana that can help engaged couples to positively sort out their feelings and their disparities before taking the final plunge.

This is the full length film debut of TV director Nuel Naval and he has succeeded in coming up with a very commercial film that raked it in the box office. Maybe, he’ll try to come up with something more artistically palatable for his next try.

His actors really took their roles seriously, without a hint of camp, and it’s Andi who shines as she has the most flamboyant role which was originally meant for KC Concepcion who definitely cannot have the guts to do the daring things Andi does here as a bitch in heat.

Giving fine support is Jackielou Blanco as Anne’s mom who delivers her own share of catchy lines. Men are really portrayed as unfaithful, promiscuous heels here as even the fathers of the girls (Joel Torre, Johnny Revilla) are both philanderers. And since this sensational but basically empty confection about cheating and betrayal is a megahit like “No Other Woman” before it, we can now expect more movies of the same genre in the near future. It’s obviously local films’ newest gold mine.