By Nonoy L. Lauzon/UP Film Institute
The film shamelessly ratifies the paternalistic preconceptions that govern the institution of heterosexual union and in effect becomes instrumental in strengthening the conventional view of women as inferior to men.
Upon watching Cathy Garcia-Molina’s A Second Chance, audiences would not take one minute to realize and be completely convinced that the sequel to the hit romance drama in 2007 is some kind of a sexist film. For all the complexities pertinent to the expanding and ever-evolving gender discourse now in the world, all that Philippine cinema could bother itself with is a celluloid embarrassment of a trite tale involving spouses whose idea of individual self-worth emanates from a simplistic notion of what it is to be male or female, and the respective role-playing that comes with such as prescribed by social norms.
The film is consumed with the singular thesis that a marriage only works if the husband is able to provide and the wife is able to conceive. Hell breaks loose when one or both of these conditions are not met – exactly the case with this studio melodrama drumbeated to have broken box-office records in cineplexes across the country. It didn’t help that the film laid the stage for its leads John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo’s over-the-top performances obliterating all grounds that one may have to allow compassion and empathy with the protagonists they essay.
Notwithstanding, the male vulnerabilities that the film finds the occasion and merit to itemize, it remains the interest of the film to uphold manly supremacy. What is elided in the process is the reality that much of sorry human circumstances are brought about by patriarchal standpoint that is inconsistent with rational thought, the dictates of common decency and the everyday exercise of discernment.
Prime cinemas in other parts of the world have no use for this type of romantic flick – which is, to say, why the Philippines lags behind other nations in pushing for the cause of film as fine art. All that this big-screen yarn manages to be good at, is to get stuck on cliché after cliché and stipulate a gamut of platitudes that all boils down to how we can all be stupid for love.