[My Bebe Love Featured Image from My Bebe Love Twitter Page.] Before I get stuck in the My Bebe Love pandemonium that comes with the Metro Manila Film Festival. I finally watched My Bebe Love at a Block Screening that is closest to where I am located. It was at SM Tarlac where I enjoyed the film for 2 reasons. Being a fan of Direk Joey Reyes. And being an ALDUB admirer. If you have been watching Tagalog movies often enough, you may be familiar with the kind of comedy films Direk Joey is known to direct. So seeing a film that he directed with Vic Sotto, Ai Ai Delas Alas, Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza meant seeing his work in a genre he’s very good at.
I would do what I can to avoid spoilers. The trailers that My Bebe Love released managed to avoid spoiling the fun for the rest of us. For a light-hearted romantic comedy, it is self-aware, just like the hit KalyeSerye. You get to realize that once you hear Ms. Corazon Tala-Tala (portrayed by Ms. Ai Ai Delas Alas) mention it.
My Bebe Love features 2 love stories. Vito Carillo (portrayed by Vic Sotto) and Corazon Tala-Tala. And Dondi (portrayed by Alden Richards) and Anna (portrayed by Maine Mendoza). These two love stories intertwine well into the plot, you don’t mind anymore if you can’t tell which is the subplot and the main plot. Bottom line is one story will not be possible without the other. Whatever loophole you noticed story-wise in the trailer will be filled once you get to watch the film itself.
What made My Bebe Love different from most of the MMFF entries that Vic Sotto as a producer sent over? It has very little reliance on slapstick. The story is intelligent enough to know that it has actors and actresses that can handle their characters without relying much on the slapstick that Bossing Vic’s movies are known for. Very little meaning the slapstick is limited to a centenary birthday celebrant and her effeminate gay son. Maybe a little slapstick is applied on the character of Delas Alas too in terms of addressing her long face. But the character Vito is also referred to as having a long face. [Vito’s long face doesn’t make him any less attractive though.] In the story, they made it one of the possible foreshadowing signs for Vito and Corazon to hit it off.
My Bebe Love can easily be chopped into 3 Acts. Act 1 would refer to the relationship that blossomed between Dondi and Anna. Act 2 pointed out the relationship that evolved positively between Vito and Corazon. Act 3 is where both couples try to find solutions to the unwanted side effects that the subsequent relationships got into. And at My Bebe Love, the term “relationship” becomes a safe term to use. 3 consecutive dates or more does not make a relationship official. But it can be awkward to address once one of the parties start asking “Ano ba tayo?” (What are we?) In the middle of this entertaining romantic comedy, there is a hard truth that needed to be addressed before a relationship becomes fun again.
Age is also addressed as a factor. Sure. The adage “Age doesn’t matter” gets mentioned too. Vito didn’t want his daughter Anna to get into a relationship because he found her too young. And Corazon didn’t feel like getting into another relationship again because she found herself too old. So what is the title “My Bebe Love” good for if this is the case? Because being in love is less about your age and more about your emotions.
This brings us to one positive attribute to the characters at My Bebe Love. There is less justification to the things they did. It happened. People fell in love. They threw caution to the wind. And so be it where their decision takes them. This is why most of the scenes that elicited the kilig don’t seem forced. They don’t look like they’re thrown in the film for the sake of eliciting positive reactions from the audience without having to look like fillers. It fuels the build-up needed to make characters believable. Also, it makes the audience feel extra sympathetic for them.
I already expected the story at My Bebe Love to be wholesome. As a producer, Vic Sotto (and his co-producing outfit, OctoArts Films) have always catered to the general patronage crowd. The only instances where the sexual aspect of love is explored is in the morning after “mistake” between Vito and Corazon and Vito’s meeting with his friend (portrayed by Joey de Leon). Vito’s friend only mentioned Vito’s need for a sex life though to avoid risk of prostrate cancer and other side effects of living the sexless lifestyle. And the least wholesome word used to get the point across is “tumbong” (loose translation: crotch).
For the skeptics who cast doubts on whether an effective love story can survive without the “adult” scenes that involved Vito and Corazon. Watch Dondi and Anna. They’re not teens. And they don’t act like teens. Anna need not be a teen to look like she’s about to pee in so much “kilig” while talking to Dondi on the phone. There is no age limit when it comes to “kilig” (or giddyness, if you like). Either you feel it or you don’t. This is where it becomes evident how Maine Mendoza’s acting skills resonate more in romantic comedy like My Bebe Love.
Are Dondi and Anna extensions of their roles as Alden Richards and YayaDUB? Truth be told, no. Both characters are young urban professionals who got attracted in each other. Both of them are employed in cosmopolitan jobs that earned by a little nepotism. While it would be tough to separate ALDUB from the characters that they portrayed in My Bebe Love, the efforts to disappear into their roles is astounding. Dondi comes across as the preppy nephew too polite to confront his aunt. But not too timid to pursue Anna comes across as the upper-class kind of a spoiled brat complete with an Americanized accent when speaking English. But not too snobbish to ignore the charms of Dondi.
What made My Bebe Love unpredictable is the absence of antagonists. Yes, it’s one of the few movies of Direk Joey where the story unfolds in itself without the need for any kontrabida. The characters alone are flawed enough to cause conflicts within the story. Not all romantic comedies can pull off that kind of feat. When you have “pabebe” characters in My Bebe Love, some complications arise by itself. Meaning any solutions at hand is within the protagonists’ hands too. A realistic approach to falling in love is in facing the problems yourself in order to find solutions.
For fans of Direk Joey Reyes, it’s his best rom-com work in years ever since “May Minamahal”. For fans of Ms Ai Ai Delas Alas, it’s her best rom-com so far. For fans of Bossing Vic Sotto, definitely his best MMFF entry in years. For fans of Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza, it’s the perfect way to debut as a love team in Philippine cinema.
Definitely the kind of light-hearted entertainment to go for the holiday season. See it while you can reserve seats. Like My Bebe Love’s official Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @MyBebe_Love. Both social media accounts post lists of cinemas where My Bebe Love is still showing. Book now while tickets are still up for grabs.
My Bebe Love is a must-see kind of MMFF flick to see for the holiday season. A surefire way to keep your daily fix of ALDUB goodness flowing throughout the season. Soon we will be back to the KalyeSerye episode recaps in no time. Just follow us through our social media accounts at Facebook and Twitter to be constantly updated with the latest articles about trending topics in the Philippines. We’d be expecting you.