An Honest Review Of 'First Love'

It’s a thoughtfully-made film from beginning down to the credits.

The Long Plot, Sans Spoilers

Ali (Bea Alonzo) is a quirky Pinay working as a shop assistant in Vancouver, Canada. There, she meets Nick (Aga Muhlach), a former venture capitalist. She’s instantly smitten by him and declares that it’s fate that brought them together, but the last thing he wants is to get into a relationship.

Ali’s infectious charm is too strong for Nick to resist though. She is full of life and lives each day like it’s her last, quite literally because Ali has a grave heart condition. Soon, their chance encounter turns into something deeper, something worth risking heartbreak for.

The Short, Honest Plot

First Love is a movie about a sick girl who meets a guy who is done with love, and how she makes him believe in life and love again.

 

The Main Actors And Where You Last Saw Them

Bea Alonzo as Ali

Bea starred in the drama, Kasal, with Paulo Avelino and Derek Ramsay earlier this year.

Aga Muhlach as Nick

Aga was last seen in the family drama Seven Sundays with Dingdong Dantes, Cristine Reyes, and Enrique Gil.

Edward Barber as Simon

Last April, Edward was part of the ensemble cast of the horror comedy DOTGA: Da One That Ghost Away together with his love team partner Maymay Entrata, Kim Chiu, Ryan Bang, and more.

Albie Casiño as Seb

Albie had roles in two other films earlier this year: Bakwit Boys, an entry to the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino; and I Love You, Hater, which starred Julia Barretto, Joshua Garcia, and Kris Aquino.

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Did You Know?

  1. Three film companies banded together to create First Love: director Paul Soriano’s Ten17P, Star Cinema, and Viva Films.
  2. The movie talks about fate and destiny but did you know that the events that took place before they started making the movie were also quite serendipitous?
  3. Paul’s father, Jeric Soriano, was actually the director of one of Aga’s most popular movies, Hotshots, which Aga made when he was just 15! It’s no wonder it became one of Paul’s dreams to direct Aga. Paul pitched stories to Aga for around three years before finally, he found the right material—First Love.
  4. In an interview with Cosmo.ph, Aga shares, “Paul (Soriano) and I have wanted to work together for a long time. He told me he had a project for us, and he even drove to Las Vegas from LA to show it to me. We discussed it but realized that it was not there yet. When he found the right one, which is First Love, I told him I wanted to work with Bea, and it was really fate—because he flipped the pages of the manuscript and showed me that Bea was the choice for leading lady.”
  5. Aga, Bea, Paul, and the rest of the crew stayed in Vancouver for one whole month to shoot First Love.
  6. Be ready to get LSS with an old classic OPM song, "Ikaw Lang Ang Aking Mahal," an original by VST and Co, a band popular in the 70s whose members eventually became popular hosts and comedians— Vic Sotto, Tito Sotto, and Joey de Leon.

What I Think:

If you knew your days were numbered, how would you live your life and how would you love? These are the questions that the movie First Love made me think about. 

It’s actually a GV movie. I don’t know if it’s the comfortable pace, the dreamy cinematography, the personalities of the characters of the movie, or maybe all of the above, but I left the cinema with a smile on my face.

The story itself is not the most original. You will probably watch it and think of other movies with a similar storyline. But I wasn’t bothered by that, because the film found a way to tell a love story about a sick girl in a refreshing way. Also, there’s a big plot twist midway into the movie, so that’s something to watch for.

The storytelling was tight and coherent. Every scene and detail fit together. No cluttered or misplaced scenes which I’ve come to almost expect from mainstream Filipino movies. Just one thing bothered me and that is that the movie never actually explained more about the relationship of Simon (Edward Barber) to Nick, and the details of why Nick felt the way he did about Simon and his family.

IMHO, Bea and Aga do not have that *magic* we Pinoy viewers usually look for in romantic drama movies. The chemistry is far from Bea-John Lloyd or KathNiel. But for me, it still works. They were believable as strangers-turned-lovers. You also have to remember that in the movie, Nick is 45 and Ali is in her 30s, so if you’re expecting to get teenybopper *kilig,* then this movie might not be for you. There was one particular scene in the book shop though where the connection between them was clearly evident.

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Bea and Aga were the usual competent actors that we’ve always known them to be. Special mention: I enjoyed watching Albie Casiño play the gay brother of Ali and Sandy Andolong as Ali’s overprotective mother.

Overall, this is a thoughtfully-made film from beginning down to the credits. I hope many people will watch it not just for the good vibes it will bring and the entertainment of being told a good story, but for the lessons it teaches—that time is limited and we need to live each day to the fullest; that it’s okay for women to be honest about how they feel; that to love means to risk losing and hurting; and that there are loves that are worth that sacrifice. 

What my friend thinks:

The story was good, kinda predictable, but still made me laugh and cry a little. Bea and Aga didn’t have that much chemistry, but I think the pairing still worked because they’re both good actors. Cinematography was so good!
-Cherie

I would recommend it to:

Anyone who’s having a not-so-good-week and is in need of some good vibes!

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