If you were born in the 90’s you probably remember the movies of Vic Sotto, Dolphy, Joey De Leon, Joey Marquez etc– and their style of comedy which always got tons of laugh and were huge box office hits.
It’s kind of the same feeling I got after watching the premiere of “The Hopeful Romantic” it reminded me a lot of those movies I used to watch when I was a kid, which was a bit of slapstick, situational comedy and facial exaggerations, rather than the “punchline driven / derogatory comedy that the younger ones are exposed to.
Starring theatre/TV/movie actor, Pepe Herrera and actress Ritz Azul, The Hopeful Romantic offers not just an entertaining love story, but also aims to impart an important lesson about love.
In the Hopeless Romantic, Pepe plays Jess, a 33 year old Valet Parking Attendant at The Manila Hotel, an honest man and most of all, a virgin. He promised himself that he will only give himself when he already found his true love.
Veronica, (played by Ritz), is a kept woman in the high society world. A victim of circumstances, but still a survivor.
Jess meets Veronica at the hotel bar. Instantly, he gets mesmerized by her presence. One thing lead to another, and Veronica gave Jess the “first time”. Jess, believing in the magic of what happened between them, decides that Veronica is his one true love.
However, there is one problem; Veronica has no idea that he is not rich. Afraid that revealing himself will make him lose Veronica, Jess starts to pretend the part. He kept on doing this until his resources spill away. The inevitable happens, and Veronica learns the truth about Jess.
Its good for a few laughs, and the tandem of the comedic Pepe Hererra and the sexiness of Ritz Azul is fun to watch. The problem is that the premise isn’t original and they could’ve done a bit more to make the story interesting sadly it was quite clear that they sacrificed a lot of logic and common sense to make people laugh. Like why the heck would the hotel manager be holding office in the Business Center? Or where does Ritz actually live? Does she go from hotel to hotel every night?
But one thing that The Hopeful Romantic has going for it is that its movie trailer already went viral gathering 9.6 million views on Facebook in less than three weeks since it was launched.
If anything, the virality of the trailer to organic Facebook users indicates a positive reception from netizens. As of today, the trailer has now reached 108,000 shares, 14,000 positive comments on Good Time Fan Page.
Ritz, who gets to be launched in this film as a leading lady, beams with pride about this project.
“Sobrang proud ako sa pelikulang ito kasi lahat pinaghirapan namin: ng direktor, producers, writers, at syempre co-actors ko na pinagpuyatan.
Firstly, Ritz, who is more comfortable with drama, ventures into comedy in The Hopeful Romantic.
Secondly, she had to lose weight to effectively portray her role as a sexy gold digger.
“Ang mahirap lang for me, physically, dapat medyo mukhang sexy don sa screen, so nag-struggle din ako to lose weight, kasi sobrang lumaki ako for a while before gawin yung movie.
“And then nahirapan ako kasi sobrang kabaligtaran ko ang role sa totoong buhay. Naging kumportable ako sa mga katrabaho ko, kaya napa-swimsuit ako.”
Meantime, Pepe, who is a very talented singer-actor, finally gets to be a lead star in this film.
The versatile actor takes pride in saying that he gets to explore comedy genre through a sexy movie.
Pepe admits that he felt pressured that he would finally be a leading man in this project.
Fortunately, Ritz made his job easier for him.
“Ang masasabi ko po ay lalaki din ako at nakakaramdam ng karupukam. Si Ritz ay very desirable 110%.”
“Kasi kinabahan ako nung una dahil sinasabihan ako, ‘Leading man ka na, kailangan tutukan mo yung panunuyo o kung paano tratuhin ang leading ladies.’ Parang siya [Ritz] pa yung gumagawa non para sa kin. Cowboy si Ritz. Hindi siya tipikal na leading lady.
The Hopeful Romantic opens September 12, 2018 and is directed by Topel Lee.
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