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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.

Feb 23, 2014

Starting Over Again' Review: Piolo Pascual's Movie Through And Through

WE’RE GLAD for Piolo Pascual that he finally recovered after the KC debacle and now has another hit movie after the previous ones he did with Angel Locsin, Angelica Panganiban and Shaina Magdayao didn’t do as well as expected at the tills. “Starting Over Again” with Toni Gonzaga is a monster hit that has made P200 million in less than one week.

The movie directed by Olivia Lamasan is just like her past one, “The Mistress”, a very well engineered commercial film that truly succeeds in its aim to play to the gallery and please local audiences. No wonder they’re all laughing on the way to the bank. Although Piolo and Toni didn’t end up in each other’s arms as most local moviegoers would like and expect them to, Toni is given her own very entertaining closure introducing no less than four possible leading men for her: Vhong Navarro, Luis Manzano, Sam Milby and her real life boyfriend Director Paul Soriano (who looks better in person than the way he’s photographed in the movie.)

Piolo registers as incredibly good looking on screen. The story spans 10 years in the lives of Marco (Piolo) and Ginny (Toni). It starts in 2003 when Ginny was still a college student who falls desperately in love with her handsome professor, Marco. She courts him heartily and succeeds in making him also fall for her but when he proposes marriage to her, she unexpectedly runs away and goes to Barcelona where she takes up her master’s degree in architecture. They meet again in 2013, with Piolo now a chef who hires her to design his new restaurant.

Piolo looks much younger in 2013 than when he was in 2003. He also has a new girlfriend, Patty (Iza Calzado). Despite this, Toni tries her desperate best to woo him back. From the start, we already somehow know that Piolo should not take Toni back, simply because she is a pain in the ass. We personally don’t sympathize with her character at all. She desperately courted him then suddenly dumps him? She went to Barcelona to do her thing and now that she’s back, she also wants him back? In other words, she wants to have her cake and eat it, too. Ano siya, sobrang sinusuwerte?

That scene where Piolo is frantically running in the rain trying to convince her to talk to her while she’s on the way to the airport is enough reason for viewers to root for Piolo and urge him to junk Toni for good. She most certainly deserves it. Since Toni is more of a comedian, she has many comic scenes in the movie where she really excels. And she gets to show off her very good pair of shapely legs.

But the movie belongs to Piolo’s, no doubt about it. He is made to deliver kilometric arias that people don’t do in real life, but he is able to do it all so convincingly. Iza Calzado has a very short role but she manages to run away with it, particularly in that scene when Toni brazenly confronts her and tells her to leave Piolo. You can see that Iza is bursting with emotion but she tries her best to control it.

Giving them great support are Cai Cortez and Beauty Gonzales as Toni’s best friends, Edgar Allan Guzman as Cai’s husband and Joross Gamboa as Piolo’s best friend. The movie is a bit too long at two hours and 15 minutes. We felt bored in some scenes that just go on and on and should have been trimmed to make the pacing faster. But all in all, local moviegoers will no doubt relish watching this crowd pleaser.