JUST A STRANGER (2019) Review
Written and Directed by Jason Paul Laxamana
There have been a lot of Filipino May-December love affair movies coming out recently but none that actually are worth a second look. At least for me. Then Jason Paul Laxamana’s moving story of an unloved wife and a lost teenager came, and I think that this is one of his most well-made film in recent memory.
Well-made because of how the film was directed, how it was edited and how it was shot. Just a Stranger may be just another romance movie for some but it’s more than that. It gets how the two characters are from different generations, one grew up before the cellphones and the social media and one who grew up knowing what the technology offers us now. I like that that contrast did not feel forced on screen, Marco Gumabao is surprisingly good being that boy who wants to be a man and Anne Curtis, who may look younger than the age she portrays, effectively shows how her character is someone who has been through so much.
The transition from light romance drama to serious is smooth. You’re just enjoying a story. The drama, the romance, the tension, the mysteries and even the comedy. I may have issues with some of the choices of the characters, but that’s me.
The film has enough drama and heat that gives the audience what they want. It’s sexy but that’s not what the story is all about or was going to. I can’t remember the last Anne Curtis movie that’s made a mark on me. And Marco Gumabao is very impressive in this film. Just a Stranger shows more than just a May-December romance story. It’s more than just being attracted to someone who’s not far from your age. It shows that love can be found even in the most unexpected times with the most unexpected people that comes to our lives. And they can change us for better or for worse.
3.5 OUT OF 5 STARS
‘Just a Stranger’ is now showing in cinemas from VIVA Films. Rated R-16 by the MTRCB.