FOREVER AND A DAY Review
Their love's on a rush. Eugene (Sam Milby), a shoe designer who insists on always being on top of his game, is always on the go. Raffy (KC Concepcion), on the other hand, is making what remains of her life count. They meet in an adventure camp. They fall in love, forcing Eugene to finally admit defeat and allowing Raffy to touch one more life before her predictable demise.
Cathy Garcia-Molina's Forever and a Day suffers from a bad case of extreme tastefulness. It is unfortunate that Garcia-Molina, who almost always supplants the mainstream imprints of her films with subtle inventiveness and distinctive charm, seems powerless to the dullness of the film's unfortunate script. It is a dullness that is only worsened by dialogue that seems to belittle the complexities of the human condition. Everything, from something as banal as white water rafting to something as sensitive as cancer and death, is utilized to neatly wrap a narrative that trivializes life for commercial purposes.
Despite being overindulgent in parts with certain sequences feeling longer than they should be, the film is fortunately well-made. The film waddles through with beautifully shot passages, convincingly acted exchanges, and adeptly directed scenes. Milby makes up for his stilted line delivery with consistency. Concepcion, on the other hand, gives an adequately affecting performance, as she conveys a vulnerability that is quite pleasantly surprising, especially since it comes from her. Sadly, the film overflows with needless support, effectively turning the film into a messy ensemble instead of something more intimate, something more sincere.
Ultimately, there's not enough humor to add levity to the drama. There's not enough honesty to temper the bad taste having the pain of death be reduced into a gimmick of an ending. Love, sprinkled with a bit of class struggle, of growing-up angst, of amnesia, used to be the lone resource for these manufactured escapist trifles. Now, death, with its appurtenant emotions filtered from it, is utilized and as a result, cheapened to cater to market demands. The resulting drama is so neatly concluded, so courteous and gregarious to its audiences that it defeats the entire purpose of expanding the grasp of the mainstream to tackle the most real and most certain of the many realities and certainties of life.
(Cross-published in Lessons from the School of Inattention.)