‘How to Love Mr. Heartless’ Review: Hopeful Sentimentality - TrueID

‘How to Love Mr. Heartless’ Review: Hopeful Sentimentality

LionhearTVOctober 22, 2022

The prevailing tone of this mild tearjerker remains optimistic from beginning to end, albeit occasionally becoming annoyingly sentimental.

VIVA FILMS | NINUNO MEDIA

Actors: Sue Ramirez, Diego Loyzaga, Yayo Aguila, Marnie Lapus, Gary lim, Lance Raymundo, Abby Bautista, CJ Jaravata, Ali Khatibi, Ataska Mercado, Madeleine Red, Loren Mariñas, Ethan David, Migo Valid

Genre: Romance, Comedy

Premise:  A high school girl is paired with the stoic and handsome school know-it-all and finds that there is tenderness behind his cold exterior (Prime Video).

Running Time:

Screenplay and Direction: Jason Paul Laxamana

Watch it on: Amazon Prime

Why You Should See It:

Jason Paul Laxamana’s latest rom-com does not offer too much as far as defying genre conventions goes. Simple, pretty much the predictable plot is seemingly an attempt to become relatable with the audience, which to Laxamana’s credit, ended up in an overwhelming success. In How to Love Mr. Heartless–he crafts a straightforward yet eloquently written and executed storyline that brims with tenderness, warmth, and poignancy.

The film follows a bubbly schoolgirl, Yanyan (Sue Ramirez), who lives with her mother and two younger siblings. Her father is behind bars for a grave criminal offense and has been serving his sentence. Her family is trying to appeal his case, insisting on his innocence. Blue (Diego Loyzaga) is a science nerd who loves explaining science about anything, albeit coldly. His distant and pessimistic demeanor is the opposite of Yanyan’s carefree and happy disposition in life. Despite their differences, Blue and Yanyan managed to meet halfway and developed a correspondence.

Once Yanyan and Blue’s beautiful relationship takes off, however, complications arise. That eventually makes the tone of the film shift. Performances at this point, become the film’s strongest suit, with both Loyzaga and Ramirez navigating their roles, beautifully and compellingly. Yanyan, albeit her cheerful and optimistic nature, is embittered inside by both her personal and familial tragedies, and Ramirez tackled her with believable commitment and restraint. She provided humor during Yanyan’s comic moments, and she rendered the pain during her fragile and heartbreaking scenes. Loyzaga already played several film roles, this year alone, and he has hits and misses. Blue undoubtedly does not belong to the latter category, as the actor pulled it off with incredible restraint and power.

How To Love Mr. Heartless features a plot that is as high school rom-com as it gets. Laxamana makes no evident attempts to bend the formula his movie conformed. Classroom scenes are a regular thing; Yanyan’s classmates join her professors in teasing her with Blue; and there are school trips, where classmates from the opposite sex, accidentally discover romantic compatibility.

Like most rom-coms the mellow parts are what tug at the heartstrings the most, and it is true in this mild tearjerker’s case. Some stories that previously followed such a trend usually ended up annoyingly sentimental, but How To Love Mr. Heartless’ sentimentality is a pure delight, if not beautifully heartbreaking. The last few minutes of the film delivered a hopeful twist, but a potentially devastating one. This must be Laxamana’s best romcom feature to date.

4 – Very Good

3 – Good

2 – Tolerable

1 – Terrible

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