Movie: Senior Year

"Senior Year" directed by Jerrold TarogFeaturing a mix of real students and professional actors, SENIOR YEAR is a glimpse into the lives of ten students at St. Frederick’s Academy as they struggle through the final months before graduation. Hearts are broken and healed, friendships are formed and lost. Childish ways are thrown out in exchange for seeds of maturity in what may be the beginning of a bumpy ride towards the chaos of adulthood.Source.

It took a third run for me to actually catch this movie. Am I sorry? Yes. Am I ashamed? Well, not really. It’s called having a demanding life. And I do have to choose work (and sometimes rest) over watching a movie.

But I am thankful that I was finally able to watch Senior Year.

Senior Year tells the story of a graduating class of students who deal with life as they end one chapter of their lives, and move on to begin a new one. It’s not a story of any one person, but of the collective, of the people we knew when we were in high school.

I have to say that this film is very Filipino. In our high schools, there’s no such thing as the “in” crowd—but we do have cliques. Batch loyalty is sometimes more powerful than rivalries, and we do remember the petty things that happened ten years ago—even if we don’t want to. This is Senior Year.

It’s been nine years since I graduated from high school. We’re having our tenth year reunion next year. Sort of. So it was nice to see Senior Year as the person who will soon experience the same things the three storytellers of the film were experiencing in the story. What had changed? What hadn’t changed? And who wouldn’t be appearing in our batch reunion when it comes?

We all have stories. None of which is more important than the other. The movie gave us glimpses into the lives of some of the characters, samples of our own memories: about the sweethearts, the weird ones, the superficial, the rebels… And that’s just what they are: memories. We don’t really know if it’s fact—but it’s true for us, because that’s what we remember.

And that’s what Senior Year gives its audience: a chance to reflect, to reminisce. And, this is getting to be a bit of a cliché now, in the fast-track lives we lead now, this is exactly what we need: a time to slow down. For around two hours (give or take), the film made us remember our own experiences—however long ago it was or however recent; it gave us a chance to reflect on what was important to us, and what we wanted to be way back when, as well as who we thought we’d be by now.

This movie isn’t just a coming-of-age story, of a group of high school students learning that life isn’t black-and-white. It’s also a comeback movie, for the viewers to return to who they were, to rediscover who they thought they were. It’s a movie for everyone—but it will have a more special meaning for those who have long left the halls of high school.

And you can catch the Senior Year fever again on July 17, 9 p.m. at the CCP Dream Theater—part of this year’s Cinemalaya Festival.

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movie: you again

"you again" directed by andy fickmani got a chance to watch an advanced screening of YOU AGAIN last wednesday night. though, technically it’s not an advanced screening since this movie started playing in american theaters last september.

but it’s opening 3rd of november here, so… advanced.

glad we got that cleared up.

okay, YOU AGAIN tells the story of marni, a successful career woman, who suddenly gets a blast from the past. her older brother is about to get married–to the woman who single-handedly made marni’s four years in high school a living hell.

what follows is marni’s attempts at getting joanna (the bride-to-be) to admit to the wrongs she did and to apologize for everything. failing that, marni starts trying to stop the wedding–through any means possible.

and then there’s gail, marni’s mother, who finds out that joanna’s aunt is her ex-best friend ramona. they did not separate amicably.

the plot is kinda thin. actually, it’s pretty nonexistent, once you start watching the movie. you get marni trying very hard to expose joanna for the mean bitch she was, and then you get gail trying to one-up the very rich and very powerful ramona. and while those two plot lines are running, marni also has this small romance thing going on–which you don’t really notice until the very blatant nudge at the end of the movie.

but YOU AGAIN is very funny–in a you-don’t-have-to-think-(at-all) way. and i am having trouble trying to expound on that. because that would mean i would have to think about the movie, and i really don’t want to do that. because it would defeat the description i gave it, which is “it’s very funny–in a you-don’t-have-to-think-(at-all) way.” thinking about it would make it still funny, but rather pointless.

then again, the movie is pointless.

there’s a couple of lessons somewhere about honesty and forgiveness. and in a review i wrote for WMN.ph, i said the movie doesn’t get preachy about these lessons. but the thing is, getting preachy would actually entail having a plot. and a point. the movie has neither. but it sure is enjoyable.

so if you’re looking for something to watch after the all saint’s weekend–well, give YOU AGAIN a shot. don’t think about the story, just enjoy the laughs for what they are–a break from life.