English Only, Please
English Only, Please is a Filipino romantic comedy film released in 2014 as an official entry to the 40th Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF). The film is directed by Dan Villegas and stars Jennylyn Mercado and Derek Ramsay.
For her role as Tere Madlansacay, Jennylyn Mercado won the Best Actress Award in the MMFF and Derek Ramsay won the Best Actor Award for his role as Julian Parker.
Julian Parker (Derek Ramsay) is a half-Filipino born and raised in the US. His Filipina girlfriend Megan (Isabel Oli) comes back to the Philippines leaving him with a broken heart in New York. His pain and anger prompts him to decide to follow her in order to say to her face what he thinks of her.
He hires online a Tagalog tutor to translate a speech he has written which he wants to say to Megan once he sees her. Tere Madlansacay (Jennylyn Mercado) gets the job. She teaches English to Korean students and others who want to learn the English language. But for Julian, she is to teach him how to say his speech in Tagalog.
Tere Madlansacay has a boyfriend Rico (Kean Cipriano) who is such a leech but Tere cannot see it because she is head over heels in love with the guy whom she thinks is also in love with her.
In the course of the movie, Julian seems to have a change of heart. He feels he no longer wants to launch his scathing speech on Megan but he wants to find her to talk to her.
Tere is also undergoing some “love” problems of her own when, at last, she realizes that Rico has been using her for his own gain and does not love her as much as she loves him.
Julian and Tere agree to help each other forget their exes. They start to get together not as tutor-student but as friends. Just as everything seems “rosy” between them, Julian finds Megan and goes to talk to her. Tere watches as the two hug each other and believing that they have gotten back together, leaves and never answers all of Julian’s calls.
Julian leaves a message to Tere’s friend but Tere does not read it until she is on a bus going to her home province. The letter informs her that Julian and Megan have finally found closure and that Megan is happy with another man. And that Julian has realized that Megan has no place in his heart anymore.
I have enjoyed the movie since it is light and funny. It explores the stupid things a person in love can do. Tere clearly is being stupid in the name of love. As they say, “love is blind.”
I like the dialogue but I wonder why an English tutor cannot converse in English as fast as expected. There are scenes when Tere is groping for an English word to use. It would have been nice if she speaks English when talking to Julian since the movie has established that Julian cannot speak or understand Tagalog much. Anyway, the ending is predictable. Of course, it’s Julian and Tere in the end.
The movie is good, a breath of fresh air, especially that the actors are not known for their comedic flair but they have given justice to their roles.
One thing that has disappointed me though, is the scene in the bus when Tere pleads with the bus driver to speed up. Oh, boy…. when are movies going to stop with the “chasing” scenes? It is always boy in a cab chasing the girl in another cab, girl running after the boy who has already boarded the plane. Pleaasee…. Stop it already! Find another ending!
But I’d recommend this movie to friends. Boy and girl have failed relationships, get together to heal and find themselves falling for each other. What else is new?