Apr 25
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Direk Cathy breaks away from the mold

Casts and Director of One More Chance

Author: Mario E. Bautista

Director Cathy Garcia-Molina is the foremost maker of romantic comedies these days. Most viewers agree she comes up not only with plausible, endearing love stories, but also succeeds in drawing out good credible performances from her actors.

After honing her craft as a TV director, she got the chance to direct her first movie two years ago, Close to You, a romantic comedy with the John Lloyd Cruz-Bea Alonzo love team that also introduced Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) discovery Sam Milby. It was such a hit, she quickly got a follow-up project, You Are the One, starring PBB host Toni Gonzaga with Sam. This is not only a commercial success but also earned artistic acclaim, with Jodi Santamaria getting a Best Supporting Actress nomination playing Toni's more accomplished elder sister.

With the Toni-Sam tandem warmly accepted by moviegoers, they were quickly assigned another romantic-comedy, You Got Me, where Toni played a policewoman. This raked in money again at the tills so here's Cathy now megging her fourth romance, One More Chance.

“This one's different, though, as it's more of a drama and not really a romantic-comedy,” she says. “In romantic comedies, we usually follow the formula of the two lovers having a 'cute meet,' then they start fighting each other, but you know that in the end, they will still end up in each other's arms. This time, the film opens showing the lovers, Popoy and Basha, played by John Lloyd and Bea, breaking up right at the start of the story. That's why this is really different from any movie I've done before or any movie John Lloyd and Bea have made in the past.”

The script is written by Carmi Raymundo and Vanessa Valdez, two of the youngest, most talented writers of Star Cinema today, responsible for such hits as All About Love, You are the One and A Love Story.

“I'm really happy we're able to come up with a love story like this,” Cathy continues. “Yung hindi typical na boy meets girl and they fall in love. Of course, viewers also get tired of the same formula so now, we offer something very different sa umpisa pa lang, separation na agad, and yet it's very familiar to everyone because, who hasn't experienced the pain of breaking up, right? It's not easy to deal with the end of a relationship, but I'm just thankful I have highly motivated actors like John Lloyd and Bea to enact this unusual story and I'm sure viewers, particularly their most avid fans who watch all their movies, will root for them all throughout the film. This is all part of Star Cinema's attempt to experiment with different kinds of materials about the human experience so moviegoers will not see the same thing over and over. This one is more about love and loss, but there's also redemption in the end.”

Is it true John Lloyd has become more difficult to direct as he has this so-called “John Lloyd mood” where he suddenly keeps silent and just stays in one corner not wanting to relate with anyone?

“It's not really a mood naman,” she explains. “It's part of his technique as an actor when he's internalizing his role and the scene that we're about to take. One time, he arrived on the set na hindi kumikibo at all. The entire staff thought he had a problem and was just in a foul mood so he doesn't reply at all when someone talks to him. So, I was the one who approached him and asked him what's happening. He told me he's already in character and if he'd talk to someone, he said 'Direk, baka mawala pa, e.' So I understood him as we're really shooting a heavy demanding scene that time. He said he learned that from Joaquin Phoenix and it also works for him so he just hopes he won't offend anyone who thinks he's just giving them the cold shoulder.”

Director Cathy says she's very proud of the acting of her lead stars in One More Chance that she won't be surprised if they get acting nominations for their performances come next year's awards-giving season. “They're that good and I'm confident all viewers will be pleased,” she adds in closing.

During the press conference of their upcoming romantic film One More Chance, the actor said that he realized everything that happens in life is part of a “grand design.” And theirs was just meant to be as a love team and as friends. In fact, at present he has a girlfriend and Bea has a boyfriend, too.

“Hindi pa dinadapuan ng pagkakataon,” expressed John Lloyd as to why they have remained only as friends. “Compared to my past relationships, my approach is different now. This time, sakay lang ako at sobrang easy at magaan ang lahat until I realized that it's love. I know iba-iba ang level and intensity of love, basta ako alam ko lang kung love na.” Bea seconded, “I also believe in John Lloyd's belief. I believe in destiny. If it's for you, then it's for you.”

Seeking an update about his relationship with Bea has become automatic with the entertainment press every time the two have a movie or TV project together. And it's not surprising since their tandem has produced favorable box-office outcomes and TV ratings since the start of their pairing.

Their strong chemistry and their love team's drawing power was first realized by Star Cinema and moviegoers after the success of My First Romance. This was followed with Now That I Have You, All About Love and Close To You. Their drama series It Might Be You was also successful.

The two add that they would know if ever they've fallen for each other.

“You'll just know. Mararamdaman mo na lang na mahal mo na pala siya...it will just happen to you,” John Lloyd said.

As for Bea, she would know if that person completes her as a person. And she's not talking about any vitamin supplements.

“I think that's the main reason why we fall in love and that's to become complete as a person. And that's like my character Basha whose love is not yet complete so she needed to find her happiness, only to realize that person is already in front of her and that's Popoy,” she related.

Their fifth movie together, One More Chance, will take along moviegoers to the journey of Popoy and Basha's relationship. After five years of going steady, Basha suddenly felt it was time to give their relationship a break and live her life alone.

She hopes to discover in the process what's missing in her life. She meets another man and this brings her relationship with Popoy in a roller coaster ride. The question now is whether they both will give their old relationship one more chance.

Even if One More Chance sounds like a familiar love story, the latest John Lloyd and Bea team-up brings them a step higher than their past movies because the story is more mature and they even have “mature” romantic scenes together.

Their director proudly expressed that John Lloyd and Bea gave more than what was expected from them as Popoy and Basha which their fans would relate to and enjoy.

“This is a film for anyone who has loved and lost. It's very real and it is a painful journey. Everyone will relate to the experience of Popoy and Basha because once in our life, we've been a Basha or Popoy,” smiled the director.

Bea herself could relate to her character. She shared, “I could feel Basha's pain whenever she would see Popoy with other girls...but I also believe in the saying that if you love somebody, set him free. If he comes back then he is really yours. It's a painful process but it's part of love...in real life I never experienced what Basha went through but I've already loved and gotten hurt, but that's a different situation. Mas nagmahal na ako sa ibang tao kaysa sa sarili ko.”

Bea adds that despite her past painful experience in love, she has no regrets.

“Parang hindi ka nabuhay kung hindi ka nagmahal at hindi ka nasaktan,” she said.

So how does it feel working in another movie again?

“I'm happy Star Cinema entrusted us with this project. Looking back, our love team has come a long way. It's an unforgettable ride and I'm very lucky to have Bea as my love team -mate,” John Lloyd replied.

Bea likens their working relationship and showbiz projects to their friendship. She describes it like an airplane taking off and that keeps reaching new heights.

“We have a deeper friendship and we know what's in our minds. As actors we know what to give each other and how we're going to handle scenes. At the same time we still experiment with our craft together so we'll become better and better actors,” she remarks.

Source: The Philippine Star