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Chemistry in friendship fuels rom-com movie

‘Puro tawanan nga lang kami bago kami mag-eksena at kahit pagkatapos. Wala eh, masaya lang talaga.’

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Friends Jerald Napoles and Valeen Montenegro star in the rom-com “The Write Moment” and both think they pulled it off without any awkwardness between them.

Jerald Napoles and Valeen Montenegro (mb.com.ph)

Jerald Napoles and Valeen Montenegro

“I can feel the chemistry po eh. Reading (ng script) pa lang, naramdaman ko na may magic (kami) eh,” she said at a recent press conference.

They even did love scenes and all went well as she felt “secured” around him.

“Hindi ako nahirapan kasi andu’n ’yung trust ko sa kanya eh,” she shared. “Actually puro tawanan na nga lang kami eh… bago kami mag-eksena, kahit pagkatapos kasi wala eh, masaya lang talaga.”

The actress admitted it crossed her mind while shooting, albeit briefly, that Jerald could be boyfriend material.

“Ganu’n kasi gusto ko sa lalaki eh, ’yung nalalabas ’yung kengkoy na side ko and si Jerald he’s very humorous. Nakakatuwa siyang kasama,” she said.

“The Write Moment” is about heartbroken writer Dave (Jerald) who tries to get back with an ex, Joyce (Valeen), through his romantic-comedy “hugot” script but fails and instead finds himself magically living-out the scenes he has written. He’s now forced to follow everything verbatim – or else face being stuck in an existential loop of scenes that repeat ad nauseam.

Jerald was excited playing a writer in the movie as “sobrang malawak ang imagination” nila.

“Ang mga writer kasi, laging more than the usual reality ang kayang i-offer. Kumbaga palagi silang pursigido mag-isip ng something different. Chill lang (’yung katawan nila) pero puro utak ang gumagana,” was how he put it.

The actor, who gained popularity through the hit musical “Rak Of Aegis,” is an in-demand actor these days, paired with the likes of Marian Rivera (“Super Ma’am) and now Valeen.

“Hindi ko nga po natanong kung bakit ako ’yung nakuha dito sa pelikula eh,” he said, laughing. “Pero ako sobrang nagpapasalamat lang at sobrang excited akong gawin lahat ng mga pagkakataon na binibigay sa akin.”

True to life

“The Write Moment” marks the feature-film debut of young writer-director Dominic Lim.

In a separate interview with Bulletin Entertainment, Dominic revealed the premise of the story is based on his experience.

“Ako kasi kapag hindi ko masyadong masabi ’yung gusto kong sabihin ng personal, ginagawa ko na lang siya through writing,” he shared, adding he sees the film as “bittersweet” reflection of his life.

The film is one of the finalists to this year’s QCinema. The director admitted he is a bit pressured to gain the positive response of viewers.

Dominic Lim (mb.com.ph)

Dominic Lim

“Gusto ko po kasi ma-enjoy ng mga tao (’yung pelikula). Gusto ko lang naman na maka-relate sila kasi etong film talaga, may halong sakit at katatawanan,” he explained.

Being a newbie, Dominic usually seeks the advice of his colleagues Prime Cruz and Jun Lana when it comes to directing.

“Sila po mga idol ko eh. Alam ko naman na marami pa po akong dapat matutunan (sa industriya). Lagi akong nagtatanong sa kanila, pati sa storya tapos nagbibigay sila ng mga comments nila.”

If the film is compared to Sigrid Andrea Bernardo’s hit movie “Kita-Kita,” then so be it, Dominic said.
“Sinulat ko siya (film) October last year. I think hindi pa lumalabas ang ‘Kita-Kita’ that time pero kung mai-compare man, okay lang. Wala pong problema sa akin ’yun,” he said.

Jerald added: “Ang mga films kasi na napo-produce ngayon ay more realistic at mas abot kamay ng mga tao. And ang mga writers and directors, mas malaya na silang gumawa ng script nila. So I think, isa lang naman ang goal ng lahat ng directors eh, ’yung mga maipakita sa tao ’yung mga pelikula na kung saan makaka-relate sila.”

Collaborative effort

Jerald and Valeen were the first choice for the roles.

Dominic relates to Jerald in that “pareho kaming mahilig magpatawa.”

“Nu’ng sinusulat ko ’yung story… along the way si Jerald talaga ’yung naiisip ko for the role. Parehas kaming may pagka-hopeless romantic eh,” Dominic explained. “Si Valeen naman, ever since napanuod ko siya sa ‘Every Room Is A Planet,’ na-appreciate ko ’yung performance niya. So du’n naisip ko na bagay sila together sa film.”

Dominic is a collaborative type of director. He usually asks the actors for inputs or suggestions to make his film more realistic.

“I ask them kung paano magandang atake sa eksena. Thankfully, si Jerald at Valeen, sobrang laking tulong nila sa pakikipag-batuhan ng idea sa akin. Nalalaro tuloy namin ng maayos ’yung mga eksena, that’s why I’m very happy sa outcome ng pelikula,” he shared.

Jerald and Valeen returned the praise.

“Ang sarap lang kasi, it’s always nice na work na napag-uusapan ninyo kung ano ’yung gusto niyong mangyari sa eksena,” Jerald shared.

Valeen added: “Sobrang nag-enjoy ako du’n sa collaborative part kasi para kaming nagwo-workshop on the set. Mas lumabas ’yung creative juices. That’s why, lahat kami tinuturing naming baby lahat ’yung film.”

“The Write Moment” is produced by The IdeaFirst Company in partnership with CMB Films and the Quezon City Film Development Commission. Screening dates can be viewed on QCinema’s official Facebook page.

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