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A memorable movie in ‘My Amnesia Girl’

MANILA, Philippines – Thrusting fresh pairs into local mainstream cinema can be a big risk for film outfits, but Toni Gonzaga and John Lloyd Cruz’s first-ever project together, “My Amnesia Girl,” is very much a worthy gamble.

Star Cinema’s November offering may be titled such, but ironically, it has lots to be remembered for: from the surprisingly effective Toni-Lloydy pair, the cheesy-but-not-corny pick-up lines and lots of “kilig”-infused scenes, to its interesting storyline.

Apollo (John Lloyd) and Irene (Toni) had the perfect love story, until the former messed things up. When he meets Irene again three years and many failed relationships later, he finds out that she suffered from amnesia, making him all the more want to make up for his mistakes. But was the 27 years of her life really erased from her memory?

Early promotional releases for the film made people wonder if it’s just another twist on the well-loved Hollywood rom-com “50 First Dates.” Although it has similar elements, particularly that of the female lead having a so-called amnesia, certainly, “My Amnesia Girl” is its own story.

With no previous project—small or big—together, Toni and Lloydy’s chemistry is a revelation. They look cute together; their team-up refreshing and exciting. There never was any awkward moment between the two all throughout the film, whether the scene is comic, romantic or dramatic.

Considering that both Toni and Lloydy already have several rom-com films under their belts, “My Amnesia Girl” was able to bring out something different and something better in them. As for Toni, now dubbed as the Queen of Romantic Comedy Movies, she did things she’s never done before, most notable of which is sharing passionate kissing scenes with her leading man.

Toni is generally associated with comedy, and her display of emotional profundity in playing Irene–particularly during the dramatic scenes–is another revelation in the film. Our favorite moment was when she was shooting an old couple who’s celebrating their golden anniversary. She obviously was struggling to hide the pain by smiling and staying composed, but her eyes just gave away a thousand sensations of pain that stabs right through the heart.

Even if his characterization is light, John Lloyd delivered another solid performance, proving yet again that he is a certified master of this genre. The man is undeniably gifted in conveying a sea of emotions through his eyes or even just his gestures. One of the scenes which effectively exhibited this is during one proposal scene wherein both his joy and pain are simultaneously felt, as he hugged Irene so tightly with his eyes closed.

His back story features interesting cameo appearances (guess who?). Also watch out for John Lloyd’s “tapis” moment that will surely rouse the ladies’ imagination.

“MAG” is another proof that Director Cathy Garcia-Molina knows how to poke the audiences’ emotions in the right places, weaving into the big screen a well-written, endorphins-releasing script peppered with lots of pick-up lines (take note of these girls and boys, they may come in handy) and memorable scenes that, in some instances, may seem too good to be true and impossible (but well, it’s a movie).

Even so, it clearly imparts important lessons when it comes to love: that true love takes courage, and once we find it, we shouldn’t let it slip away.

Apollo and Irene may have, at separate points, had their share of “forgetting,” but as that LeAnn Rimes song goes, “the heart never forgets.”



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