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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 23, 2017

This Time I’ll Be Sweeter Movie Review: Barbie & Ken Are Good And Deserve A Better Movie

WE HAD such high hopes for “This Time I’ll Be Sweeter” because the tandem of Barbie Forteza and Ken Chan has such a huge fan base after their TV romcom, “Meant To Be”, became such a big toprater. But after watching the movie, we realized it’s not really successful in pleasing their fans.

It starts quite well, with Barbie as Erika, a writer in their school paper who has a big crush on Ken as Tristan, a varsity swimmer. Just when she thought she and Ken already have a relationship, another girl comes along to say she and Ken have long been going steady.

Barbie is crushed but gets over it and a couple of years later, she meets Ken again and she thinks love is lovelier the second time around. But history repeats itself for her and she feels betrayed once more. Actually, their split seems more just like plot mechanics because it could have been so easy for Ken to explain that he and the girl who claims to be his fiancee (Thea Tolentino) have actually broken up because Thea cheated on him. So Barbie goes to Cambodia to work there while nursing a broken heart.

If the movie just focused on their relationship, perhaps viewers would have embraced the film more, but somewhere along the way, it gets inexplicably over dramatic when one major character dies from a plane crash.

The airline is owned by Ken’s company who refused to pay the orphaned family members of the passengers who died. And we see Barbie and Ken comforting three children whose dad is a crash victim and accompanying them to their home where there worried mom is very hostile to Ken for being the son of the airline owner. This is a tedious and messy subplot from which the movie never recovered.

Instead of helping the narrative, this plot contrivance bogs it down and makes it cumbersome viewing. What’s worse, it’s quickly forgotten in the next sequences. Even Ken’s dad, Neil Ryan Sese, who seems to be a cruel contravida giving unwanted complications to the story, suddenly exits and is never seen again.

The film doesn’t succeed in making us truly care for the insensitive character played by Ken who doesn’t at all deserve the sympathy of the viewers. Also, we don’t really feel excited seeing him and Barbie end up together by the film’s conclusion.

The ending is really so weak instead of being a triumphant finale for Barbie. You’d really wonder as to why she is such a masochistic doormat and forgives easily after Ken caused her a lot of pain. Barbie and Ken can both act well and they really deserve a better material for their first big screen outing than this bland and tepid romance. Sayang.