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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Movies that set pulses racing

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Movies that set pulses racingAt the media conference of Belle Douleur, a Cinemalaya entry that stars Mylene Dizon and Kit Thompson, the seasoned actress expressed that she felt overjoyed not because the recent set of films features May-December affairs, but it’s the fact that women take the lead parts.

“It’s like a festival of women of late. And that’s something that we must celebrate,” the 45-year-old Mylene said.

Movies that set pulses racing
Anne Curtis returns to her sexy drama roots in 'Just a Stranger,' where she portrays a married woman who starts an affair with a man half her age.

Literally means beautiful pain, Belle Douleur is produced by Quantum Films, and lawyer Josabeth “Joji” Alonso’s directorial debut.  It tells the story of a woman’s journey of finding happiness as she breaks free from the confines of society that shackles women. 

“It’s a story of a woman in her 40s who decides to be reckless and irresponsible by starting an affair with a young man. It’s inspired by a story I read some few years back about a French woman who engaged in this kind of affair. I thought the story was so beautiful and that it should be made into a film, hence we turned it into a movie with a French title,” Alonzo recalled.

The story features Liz (Mylene), 45 and single, is a clinical psychologist who works with special and gifted children. She has spent much of her adult life looking after her sickly parents. After her parents passed, Liz finds herself alone and resigned to a solitary life. 

Upon the advice of her friends Marco and Lauren, Liz begins downsizing her home and meets Josh (Kit), 26, a young antique dealer. Josh has been living on his own for years, after losing his father and grandfather, and without much memory of his mother. With their loneliness drawing them together, Liz and Josh create a special bond. 

In resolving the issues that confront them, Liz breaks free from the confines of society that shackles women. 

Meanwhile, another May-December love affair takes the limelight with Anne Curtis and Marco Gumabao playing the lead roles and going intimate in the romantic drama, Just a Stranger.

Written and directed by Jason Paul Laxamana (The Day After Valentine’s, 100 Tula Para Kay Stella), the story revolves around a married woman who gets into an affair with a man half her age despite her nagging conscience that one day they might pay for it.  

Mae Pimentel (Anne) is in her mid-30s.  Though stricken with an illness called Fibromyalgia, Mae is not wanting in material things and can go on a leisure trip anywhere she wants.  Her husband Phil (Edu Manzano), a businessman, doesn’t seem to mind as he has very little time for her. It is while vacationing in the flamboyant city of Lisbon, Portugal that this fashionable lady meets Jericho.

Jericho “Jekjek” Esguerra (Marco) is a 19-year-old son of a Philippine Ambassador.  He is oozing with sex appeal and charming personality, but lacking in maturity.  To help him have a sense of responsibility, his father tells him to find a job.  Jericho is not excited about working, but out of respect to his parents Rufi and Judy (Robert Seña and Isay Alvarez), he obeys their demands.  He has a girlfriend named Febbie (Jas Rodriguez), but meeting Mae makes his life more exciting.  

The trailer already gives a hint of the numerous steamy scenes between Anne and Marco, but director Laxamana points out that the film was not created to romanticize illicit affair.  This drama will delve deeper into the personal stories of the characters to show their reasons behind their actions.  It is interesting to know if, despite their liaison, Mae and Jericho can stick to this principle: “Not your friend.  Not your lover.  Just a stranger.”

It is said that the idea of doing a May-December affair love story has long been considered by Anne, but it is only now that the right material came along.  The award-winning actress has shown her versatility by doing action (Buy Bust)  and mystery thriller (Aurora), but it can’t be disregarded that her career prospered while doing romantic drama movies (Baler, In Your Eyes, No Other Woman, A Secret Affair).  After the box office hit Sid & Aya, it’s great that viewers will get to see Anne going back to her roots—the romance-drama genre.

Movies that set pulses racing
'Belle Douleur' is the story of a woman in her 40s who decides to be reckless and irresponsible by starting an affair with a much younger guy.

Just a Stranger opens in cinemas nationwide on Aug. 21. from VIVA Films.

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