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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.

Sep 6, 2022



SO FAR this year, we’ve been impressed by the performance of Rose Van Ginkle in “Kitty K 7” and Ayanna Misola in “Bula”, both Vivamax releases. 

Now, we’ve just seen another strong performance by an actress on the big screen in “Expensive Candy” that will be shown in theatres starting September 16.

In the title role of Candy, Julia nails her role perfectly, not only with her charismatic screen presence and alluring good looks, but more so with her smart and finely nuanced portrayal of a free-spirited Angeles City streetwalker who believes it’s her fate to have that kind of job and unapologetically enjoys doing it. 

In fairness to her leading man, Carlo Aquino, he’s also good in his role as the history teacher who falls in love with Candy and tries to save her, giving her a second chance on life after a tragedy that happened to her.

But the movie really belongs to Julia. “Expensive Candy” is worth watching if only for her truly endearing performance that will make you fall in love with her. 

She fulfills the movie’s title as she’s really such a lovely eye candy on screen who can fulfill any man’s fantasy. 

She doesn’t really look like a cheap whore, so we’re not surprised that Carlo is quickly dazzled by her beauty, falling in love with her at first sight. 

But her interpretation of her role really hits the mark, looking earthy but so classy, up to the final scene that gives the film’s conclusion quite a memorable impact. 

In the final scene, she faces the audience directly and drops her last line quite casually, but very meaningfully: “Because I’m special”. Fade out.

We’ve noticed that most movies about prostitutes have very sad endings, like “Klute” where Jane Fonda played a New York whore and won her first Oscar best actress award, and “Never on Sunday” with Melina Mercouri getting an Oscar nomination as a Greek prostitute who an American scholar tries to reform. 

The most popular film about a streetwalker with a happy ending is “Pretty Woman”, with Julia Roberts in a Cinderella-like story. 

In local films, the most memorable films about prostitution are “Playgirl” by Mel Chionglo, with Charito Solis and Gina Alajar as a mother and daughter who are both engaged in the oldest profession, and “Buhay ng Buhay Ko” for which Dawn Zulueta won a Star best actress award. 

“Expensive Candy” is from writer-director Jason Paul Laxamana and if you’re familiar with his works, then you’d know that he doesn’t believe in fairy tale endings. 

His “hugot” films like “100 Tula Para Kay Stella”, “The Day After Valentine’s” and “Just a Stranger”, have established that he’s the master of sad love stories with endings that are far from being feel good. 

We just wish "Expensive Candy" had a tighter dramatic statute. It bogs down in the last act like Laxamana is not very sure about the kind of conclusion he'd give to the film.

But his loyal followers seem to enjoy his love dramas with its formula of doleful conclusions, so we’re sure they can totally relate with whatever heartbreaking melancholic message “Expensive Candy” is trying to put across. 

If you want a more escapist, feel good Laxamana chick flick, then we recommend the underrated “To Love Some Buddy”, with Maja Salvador and Zanjoe Marudo giving totally engaging performances as best friends who fall in love and gain some valuable insights about relationships in the process.