Amid a sea of movies about mistresses and broken families, Star Cinema released another one to meet the trend. While in its past offerings, it managed to create unique and relateable stories regarding infidelity, and while reviews about this movie were generally positive, I cannot in good faith condone the film’s message.
The Love Affair is the story of Vince (Richard Gomez) and Trisha (Dawn Zulueta), a married couple who have lost the spark in their relationship after Vince finds out that Trisha is seeking comfort from his best friend (Tonton Gutierrez). While Trisha claims that nothing really happened, Vince feels betrayed about his wife’s emotional connection with his friend. In comes Adie (Bea Alonzo), a lawyer coming from a split with her 10 year partner (Tom Rodriguez) who became unfaithful to her. As Vince and Adie’s paths cross, they form a connection (Team Sawi) and embark on an affair.
While I should credit the pacing and the acting in this movie, my main problem with the film was its actual message. Richard Gomez and Dawn Zulueta have truly proved that they still have what it takes to deliver complicated characters — their familiarity and chemistry is that of a real married couple caught in the crossfire of grief and uncertainty. Bea Alonzo, for her part, delivered her part flawlessly, giving the veterans as good as they gave.
On the one hand, I understood what the film was trying to say, logically. That good people sometimes commit errors in judgement because of a lot of factors, and the film was very generous in fleshing out the causes of the problems in Vince and Trisha’s marriage. It was a gradual process, the breakdown of a union, and the film took the opportunity to build on the drama.
Still, at the end of the day, it felt like the entire film was just trying to justify the affair(s), making the character developments mere sidebars in the big picture. True, there were strong individual characters. There was a hint of women empowerment as both Trisha and Adrienne were both portrayed as independent women who can stand on their own. But all these are negated by the cliched approach to infidelity. And while at first Vince’s character was being set up as someone who was likeable, towards the end, he seemed like a petulant jerk who was trying to get back at his wife because his ego got hurt.
The only characters whom I would like to commend in this entire movie is Adie’s best friend played by Ina Feleo, and her law partner, who were the only ones who acted like real friends and tried to talk Adie out of embarking on the affair because it will not end well. These are the types of friends people should have in their lives — the ones who are unafraid to call their friends on their bullcrap.
No, despite the fact that Star Cinema seemed to do everything right technically with the cinematography, the acting and everything in between, I cannot seem to get over the fact that it was trying to excuse infidelity as a legitimate way out of marital troubles. I could not condone the fact that a happy ending could result out of everything that has happened and everything will go swimmingly after. The ending was an easy out for Star Cinema, much like it was for No Other Woman, and for this, I could not, in good conscience recommend this movie.