For the First Time (2008)

some minor spoilers up ahead.
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I’ll get straight to the point.
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I don’t get this movie.
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Yes, it’s clearly a romantic movie, but I don’t really know if it’s trying to be a romantic comedy, what with it’s comic supporting cast, or a romantic drama, what with its familial conflicts and personal struggles.
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You see, Pia Sandoval (KC Concepcion) and Seth Villarasa* (Richard Gutierrez) are two completely different individuals whose lives get tangled up in each other’s when they meet in beautiful Santorini, Greece. Pia, who hates Seth because he broke all her girl friends’ hearts, must bear with the idea of living under Seth’s roof when she and her helper Manang Josie (Candy Pangilinan) discover that he owns the apartment where Manang Josie’s pen pal invites them to stay in. And, of course, the hatred dissolves into a possibility for romance but which is short-lived.
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Fast forward to three months later when the romance picks up where it left off. A whirlwind courtship ensues, not without its usual trials and tribulations, of course, and ends as expected: happily ever after.
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Don’t kill me if I spoiled the movie for you.
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The first half of the movie was all fun and “Wow, I want to get married in Santorini because it’s so beautiful!” And then from the time of the “contract” until the end of the movie, you’re just left thinking, “What the hell happened? They’re together and now they’re not and now they’re back together again and why is she crying like that and what in the world was she thinking she’s supposed to be…” I’ll leave you to fill in the blanks. I don’t know. There was an inconsistency in the development of the characters. That’s all I can say about them.
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And for the first time (pun not intended), I could not see the relation of the song title to the movie. It seemed one-sided to me. It is explicit in that phrase that when something happens “for the first time” it means that there is a new experience. On one hand, falling in love with someone is always a new experience even if you’ve fallen in love before. One can argue that though you have fallen out of love with somebody and then gotten back together with him, there still entails an experience that is unfamiliar. If the feeling has been familiar, then there might be the possibility that the relationship will not last because there is no growth.
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Okay. I’ve gotten way off track. 
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I don’t completely understand what it is that KC’s character experiences for the first time. It’s not like she hadn’t been in love before, and it’s not like she hadn’t stood up for something she believed in or for someone she loved. Richard’s character I understand the “first time” element, but in KC’s case it is much less transparent.
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As for the actors themselves, Richard seemed to have had it easy with his character, except maybe for speaking Greek. KC seemed to think she was still in theater with her exaggerated crying. Candy Pangilinan was lovely in the first part of the movie but disappeared in the second half.
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Okay never mind. I’m spending too much time trying to write a review about a movie I never wanted to watch in the first place. The only reason I did, by the way, was for the company (love ya guys. you know who you are ^_^). And you could say this was a good experience for me.
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In fairness to the movie, it TRIED to be deep and profound, but… you can only expect so much from a mainstream movie. Hopefully this expectation will change in the future. 
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So. Unless you’re a big big big fan of the two main characters, I suggest you just wait for the DVD.

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