Up from the start of the movie, you could tell that the screenplay was excellently done; witty and amusing. But it was the actors and actresses that was destroying the movie initially. Regardless of great lines, the first 30 to 45 minutes was atrocious because of the performances. Clever dialogues gone straight to the toilet because the performances were either too slapsticky, or just pure corny. I saw no chemistry between Enchong and Erich. While Erich looked like she was trying hard to be Meg Ryan-ish, Enchong was stiff and bland like a pale wooden puppet. The characters which were the friends of Erich's character looked cheesy in the way they act.
The male friend Janus Del Prado looked awkward in delivering his lines, and the thin lady friend Melai Cantiveros was acting like she wants to be the next Pokwang or Ai-ai; channeling on the "old Tagalog format of comedy" that relies more on funny looks than funny performances. Do we really need to continue this old slapstick format? Allyson Lualhati seemed to be the better of the three; her timing seemed to be on target.
Fortunately, the film picks itself up later on and gradually becomes more edible; the performances were gradually getting better. The saving grace really relies much on the script, the story, and on Veronica Velascos' direction. I am surprised that just of this writing moment did I find out that Velasco was also the writer and was the one of the two directors of the movie INANG YAYA, which is one of the finest dramatic movies I have ever seen. No wonder.
The storyline was able to tackle the usual ups and downs of getting married; especially one that involves the romance between a girl from a typical (seemingly lower middle class) family and a boy from a wealthy old-fashioned Chinese family.
The performances were better around the second half of the movie. Enchong and Erich's chemistry seemed better when they were not intentionally acting sweet. I must say, however, that Enchong's on screen appearance often looks silly. He is usually dressed in these prettyboy clothes that look very very gay. It's distracting how silly he looks. And that pompadour-ish hairstyle of his. We laugh now how Eddie Peregrina or Tirso Cruz looked silly decades ago, someday in the very near future, people will be looking back at how ridiculous Enchong Dee looked in this movie.
The wit and the humor was also getting better. Erich was indeed able to slightly channel a Meg Ryan-ish vibe, but she does it in a slightly sloppy manner. It's safe to assume that Erich can still refine her acting (the last movie I saw her in was NOY, and her acting there was horrible there. this was an improvement for her). The other characters did well also; Dennis Padilla, Isay Alvarez, Che Ramos, Jun Urbano, they all did great. It was good that Pokwang was not overdone here; she is funny enough delivering simple performances, no need to amplify the slapstick factor. It disgusts me how many of the audiences were laughing at Pokwang at a scene where we see her genuinely crying over something bad (crying while talking on the phone); she may look ugly but it's still a scene with a woman crying over something unpleasant.
Janus Del Prado's character was amusing in the sense that he loves to make metaphorical comparisons of just about anything. I thought it was clever at first, but this one was overdone up to a point that it does not become funny anymore, and the character dilutes into being just a lousy joke. There is a moment in the near end where he confesses something to Erich. The scene is not effective anymore because the integrity of the character has already been destroyed. In addition, it could have been an interesting scene or a subplot that could make the character more sympathetic to audiences.
All in all, "I DO" is mid-level good. High points on the storyline, the direction has a little above average score and a barely passing grade on the acting. The movie is not bad. If you are used to the typical mainstream Tagalog movie, then I could recommend this to you. "I DO" is pretty average; but I could never deny that it was enjoyable.
In addition: I was immensely relieved that I did not see the trailer for this movie before I got to watch it; I would not have given it a curious chance. Star Cinema should (if not, then maybe gradually) change the format in which they make their trailers.
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