ESCAPE. Anna (Jessy Mendiola) and Rye (Jericho Rosales) try to make sense of the relationship they have in 'The Girl in the Orange Dress.' All screenshots form YouTube/Quantum Films

One morning inside a hotel suite, ordinary girl Anna (Jessy Mendiola) wakes up nearly naked beside immensely popular actor Rye (Jericho Rosales). As a picture of Rye and Anna, whose face is hidden and is only identifiable by the distinctly orange dress the night before, together start to spread online, the two figure out how to escape from the hotel that by then is being stormed by rabid fans and persistent reporters, all very eager to know the girl Rye had spent the night with.

 

Comic possibilities

Essentially, the plot of The Girl in the Orange Dress is all about a mountain formed out of a molehill.

This actually could have been loads of fun had writer and director Jay Abello understood the comic possibilities of the blunt absurdity of the premise. Sadly, comedy here is just an afterthought, presented in sparse stabs spinning from the many supporting characters who turn out to be more entertaining than the leads. The mountain in the middle of The Girl in the Orange Dress is a rickety and farfetched romance, one that would immediately collapse in an instance of a landslide.

The landslides are both plenty and glaring.

The screenplay is shoddy in its attempt to mold a romance around a one-night stand that turns into wild goose chase out of a besieged hotel. While both Rosales and Mendiola are brimming with individual charisma, their scenes together lack both spark and sentiment to convince that all the trouble to keep them together is worth it.

Then there is the very flimsy back story of Anna involving her best friend who has a crazed obsession over Rye. The side plot is bizarre in the sense that it doesn’t add anything to the love story. It only blurs it further, turning it into a strange love triangle that is grounded on childish fantasies rather than the truest of emotions. It is almost as if the film has surrendered to utter immaturity.

GIRL IN THE DRESS. Anna becomes a mystery to Rye's fans.

Pretty sights and sounds

Thankfully, The Girl in the Orange Dress is often gorgeous to look at and listen to.

Abello knows that his film’s greatest assets are its two leads, and he photographs them lusciously. The melodies that accompany the mostly dull and questionable sequences are pleasant. In fact, if the level of crafting committed to The Girl in the Orange Dress is granted to a material that is more on point with its emotions rather than on the need to sustain a clever premise, the result would have been more delightful than dreary.

Simply put, The Girl in the Orange Dress film falls under all the pressure of its cute but curbed premise.

The film struggles to sustain not just believability but also enthusiasm as all the farce and foolishness pile upon each other, resulting in wreckage that is in desperate need to be perfumed with the pretty sights and sounds of a generic rom-com.

KISS. Anna finds herself falling for Rye despite their statuses.

Mad, mad world

The Girl in the Orange Dress isn’t just meager in its ambitions, it is also completely oblivious to the possible depth of its content.

It is stubbornly satisfied with just being a disposable romance, when a little more time, care, and caution could have shaped the film into a far more delicious satire of the mad, mad world of show business, presented as a juicy affair between unlikely lovers caught in the middle of a maelstrom of gossip and obsessions. All that there is in the film are fragments of that promise. – Rappler.com

 

 Francis Joseph Cruz litigates for a living and writes about cinema for fun. The first Filipino movie he saw in the theaters was Carlo J. Caparas' Tirad Pass.

Since then, he's been on a mission to find better memories with Philippine cinema.

 



Source: Rappler

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