Movie Review for 24/7 In Love

Love Out of Time

24/7 In Love

Comedy, Romance | PG | 2 hrs 10 min
Star Cinema
24/7 In Love is basically an anthology of love stories. The romantic tale isn’t naturally suited to the anthology format, primarily because the emotions involved tend to require more time than a segment can provide. And true to form, some of these stories fail precisely for that reason. But there are also good bits in here, elevated by performance from the country’s brightest stars. 24/7 in Love is hit-and-miss at best, but some of these ideas are worth fleshing out.

Jane (Kathryn Bernardo) enters a video contest to win a chance to meet pop idol Billy Fernandez (Daniel Padilla). She goes around asking people on camera what they would do if the world were ending. The movie follows their stories from there.

In the first of these stories, Virginia (Pokwang) waited twenty years to be with the man she loves, only to be betrayed. Her best friend convinces her to hire callboy Charles (Sam Milby) to fulfill her long-buried desires.

Barbara (Maja Salvador) has a crush on her playboy boss Ken (Diether Ocampo). She finally gets to spend some time with him when a jilted ex leaves a baby in his care.

Isabelle (Bea Alonzo) secretly pines for her gay best friend Butch (Zanjoe Marudo). As he prepares to leave for fashion school in Milan, Isabelle tries everything she can to get him to stay with her.

Verna (Angelica Panganiban) travels to Vietnam, running away from an unfaithful spouse. There she meets bartender Elvis (John Lloyd Cruz), who offers a moment of distraction from her troubles.

Childlike Pipoy (Piolo Pascual) tries to help his little orphan buddy Jomar (Zaijan Jaranilla) win the heart of his crush Ayee (Xyriel Manabat).

And finally, low-level ad agency employee Patty (Kim Chiu) is tasked with finding the hunky young man who made headlines saving people from a fire. That guy happens be her high school sweetheart Alvin (Gerald Anderson), whose heart she broke years ago.

A lot of these stories have trouble taking off in this format. Most of them have plots that call for a little more time than what they’re given. The story of Ken and Barbara, for example, is about a man finally choosing to grow up, accepting responsibility and getting into a more serious relationship. Those are fine themes for a story, but it can’t fit all that in. Virginia’s story has an interesting premise, but it rushes to an unsatisfying ending. Verna’s story is one of the most intriguing, and it’s pretty well acted. But the emotions involved in the plot needed a lot more time to really work.

The other segments fare a bit better by either keeping it at the level of young puppy love (in the story of Pipoy, and in the framing segments of Jane), or by telling stories of people who already share a history. The latter approach is particularly effective: instead of having to develop something between the characters, they just make it clear from the start that there’s already something there. From that starting point, the stories are free to build. This approach produces the stronger segments of the film. The stories of Isabelle and Butch and Patty and Alvin also have their hiccups, but they’re able to get to something a little deeper than the other stories.

With the stories short on time, the cast is made to do a lot of the dramatic heavy lifting. Even in the weaker segments, the likes of John Lloyd Cruz, Angelica Panganiban, and Bea Alonzo can only help matters. Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson have grown somewhat as actors, and the work they’ve put in is really showing. Zanjoe Marudo and Piolo Pascual walk the line of caricature, but manage to keep the humanity shining through.

24/7 in Love is about half-good. It’s at least encouraging that Star Cinema is trying to do something different within the context of the seemingly neverending barrage of local romantic movies. And it is in fact the sequences that stray from the feature-length formula that work best. While still working within a romantic context, the sequences that work eschew the tedium of the meet cute and the romantic montage and tell simple stories of people who already share something significant. The film as a whole is a bit hard to recommend, but there are definitely bits of it that are satisfying.

My Rating:



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