I love films whose main ambition is just to entertain and nothing more. And that is what SUDDENLY IT’S MAGIC is all about, a Philippine production that casts Thai heartthrob Mario Maurer in the male lead.
I seldom watch films from my native Philippines not because I don’t like to but because there are few ways to do so. I often rely on my friends to bring me DVDs or I buy whenever I go back for a visit. But that’s not very often. So anyway…
Star Cinema is perhaps the only big production company in the Philippines right now that continues to produce films with a certain quality. I like my films glossy, thankyouverymuch, and Star Cinema films are known for that gloss… and the prerequisite epilogue. Don’t get me started on the sappy voice-over too that is ever present in all Star Cinema teasers, like this one:
SUDDENLY IT’S MAGIC is a typical rom-com. You’ve seen it before but there’s still novelty in pairing two actors from neighboring Asian countries and that pays off in the film about Marcus, a famous Thai actor, and Joey (played by Filipino actress Erich Gonzales), a regular girl who bakes cupcakes.
Marcus happens to be one-half of an ultra famous loveteam in Thailand. His onscreen partner, Sirita, is played by Baifern who was also Mario’s leading lady in CRAZY LITTLE THING CALLED LOVE. Marcus and Sirita’s romance is not just reel, but real, but then she breaks his heart and he goes off to a place where no one knows him… the Philippines, where he meets Joey who makes the “saddest tasting cupcake evah”. Magic happens and they fall in love amid Philippine town fiestas and beaches.
But Marcus is destined for bigger things. He needs to return to Thailand to do another movie with Sirita and there’s an audition with a Hollywood director. He takes Joey back with him but that’s when their rose-colored lenses turn grimly grey once they are confronted with the reality of being in a complicated relationship. Can a famous actor date an ordinary girl? The plot is obviously a nod to many fangirls’ fantasies of dating their idols but as the film gently probes, it’s not easy. There are the fanatics, the media and the career of the famous one to think of. I do like how the “ordinary girl” was not portrayed as the totally understanding girlfriend here but there were just some scenes that made me go “oh-hoh” because they don’t really happen in real life. Like when the ordinary girlfriend tags along to the set of the actor-boyfriend or shouts back at his fans (nevermind if it was in a language that they cannot understand). If those really happened in real life, it would be total mayhem and career suicide, not to mention selfish. You want the support of fans? Go hide in your cubbyhole. Indeed, the film is a lesson on how to date actors and that it is not a fairy tale. Since this is a movie, of course it has a happy ending.
The movie was a breeze to watch and had its moments. I do have a couple of quibbles though starting with the Thai actress who played Mario’s mother. Couldn’t they have found a tall, elegant actress who can speak better English than this? Her lines made me squirm every time. And how could they make Chiang Mai appear like a stone’s throw from Bangkok? Finally, I found more chemistry in Sirita and Marcus, (no wonder they have loyal, rabid fans, at least in the film) than Joey and Marcus. And that makes me want to watch CRAZY LITTLE THING CALLED LOVE.
I wish I’d seen SUDDENLY IT’S MAGIC before Mario visited our office to promote his latest film, JAN DARA 2, looking like this:
Where did the innocent-looking Chone or the boy-next-door Marcus go? He just looked so grown-up so suddenly… like magic.
Copyright © theasianpopculturist. Blogging since 2001. All rights reserved.