Two of the Philippines’ box-office royals, John Lloyd Cruz and Sarah Geronimo, team up in a much-awaited silver screen reunion that promises fans a “new treatment to a romantic comedy”.
Hitting UAE cinemas starting August 3, Finally Found Someone reunites Cruz and Geronimo after a long hiatus that dates back to 2013, when they starred in the smash hit It Takes A Man And A Woman, part of a trilogy that began with A Very Special Love, followed by You Changed My Life.
Cruz and Geronimo are set to breathe life into the characters of Raffy and April — two individuals very different from the characters Miggy Montenegro and Laida Magtalas, which fans have come to adore.
“The biggest challenge was to create something new and different but at the same time familiar with our tandem,” says Cruz during an online press conference, crediting the director, Ted Boborol, for being very generous and patient in helming the film. “Personally, I really want to work with a new director with the desire to produce and to deliver something new, still yet familiar and relevant.”
Boborol, one of the Philippine film industry’s fast-rising directors, agrees that creating a fresh approach to an all-too-familiar on-screen love team was a challenge.
“The first challenge is to give a new story, a new flavour, a new treatment to a romantic comedy that the tandem can provide and yet doesn’t veer away too much and alienate the audience of their loveteam, because end of the day the movie is for the fans and the movie goers,” says Boborol.
“In other words, something real, something familiar and something apt. The theme of the movie is about honesty, about authenticity. The challenge for me is that I want them to be as natural, as real and authentic as much as possible when it comes to their acting.”
Finally Found Someone centres on the unexpected romance of Raffy Sandoval (Cruz), a PR hotshot who masterfully crafts lies for a living, and April Esguerra (Geronimo), an honest girl who has difficulty masking her true emotions. A PR crisis brings the two together, and they discover that they have much in common despite the fact that they are polar opposites — they are kindred souls on a quest for something that will complete their lives.
“Miggy is more conflicted, while Raffy’s character has a clear track,” says Cruz, talking about the character he made famous in the duo’s previous movies. “He’s not as complicated as Miggy. Raffy’s conflicts are more clear.”
Geronimo says the character she plays in the new movie is much more open to new reality, while Laida was naive.
“In terms of my direction, I tried to be unobtrusive as much as possible,” says Boborol. “I tried to be as chilled [out] and relax as much as possible because I want to be their senses to be more open. When their senses are open, they are more natural, more real and more experimental when portraying their characters. And, of course, that would work with intelligent actors and thankfully I worked with Sarah and John Lloyd.”
For the past 10 years, the on-screen tandem of Cruz and Geronimo has won millions of hearts among Filipino moviegoers. Geronimo, 29, is also a widely popular singer and is dubbed Popstar Royalty. Cruz, 34, is an award-winning actor and box-office king.
“I think it’s a gift. It’s a gift that we want to share with people especially for those who become our followers for the past years — 10 years already, for the past three films,” says Cruz.
The tandem, however, also has its own share of hitches. “It’s not perfect — we also argue on things like creativity and we have are our own beliefs,” says Cruz.
But he adds: “The beauty of it is that we still want to be happy, there’s that longing to make a movie that can give happiness to people. You just need to acknowledge the important factors about the two of you being a tandem.”
Geronimo credits Cruz with being generous in helping her hone her craft as an actor. “He is a very generous actor. He’s very sincere that the leading lady will not find it difficult to be endeared to him and admire him and that’s one of the big factors why our tandem works. As a person off cam, I like the persona that he has — he can give a different energy.”
Cruz responds: “It’s mutual admiration. How can you not admire Sarah Geronimo? Even before we already had a connection and that connection can translate into a movie that we can share. The beautiful thing about this connection is that we can do things that can make people happy.”
Finally Found Someone deals with the challenges of falling in and out of love and eventually believing in love again.
“At one point you need to move on,” says Cruz about dealing with failed relationships.
While Geronimo adds: “Honesty is the best gift you can give someone.”
Don’t miss it
Finally Found Someone releases in the UAE on August 3.
QUICKFIRE WITH JOHN AND SARAH
How do the two of you stay real in a make-believe world (showbiz industry)?
Cruz: It doesn’t apply to me because what you see is what you get. Life is too short, I don’t want to live a boring life. I always follow my gut, I follow my desires because you’ll only live once. What’s important is that you know you’re true.
Geronimo: Through time, I learned to be open and vocal. When I started in the industry, I was really a quite person and really not vocal with how I feel.
What do you want to say to your future husband/wife?
Cruz: Dear future wife, be patient with me. Can’t wait to see the world through your eyes.
Geronimo: Dear future husband, I can’t wait to be with you and experience freedom with you. Your life will be different when you have a husband. You’ll have new realisations and discoveries about yourself.
Your take on honesty.
Cruz: Honesty is very important especially in telling a story. In any relationship it is also very important. I think we tend to forget honesty nowadays. Honesty is such a simple word, but now it feels so avant-garde.
Geronimo: Without honesty you can’t have peace in your heart. Without honesty, you can’t also reach your full potential as a person. Your destiny, your purpose in this world.