If you’re a Filipino, then you probably have heard of local actor John Lloyd Cruz. If you’re a Filipina, then you probably love John Lloyd Cruz.
He’s been around for sometime more than a decade now. He’s had television shows, TV commercials, and of course, movies. There have been awards thrown to him for his performances in different films and TV series. He’s been paired with more than three contemporary female lead stars. His face has been plastered across newspaper ads, billboards, and posters for the many products he has endorsed.
Which means, one way or another, you have come across him.
I have honestly been an ardent follower of this actor. For reasons that I share with my friends and my sister and almost other people. Which means I’ve seen more than a couple of his movies, the good films and the simpler ones. And just lately, I’m able to re-watch some of them again. So I kind of decided to think of the top 3 movies in which he’s starred and that I totally, totally love.
My Amnesia Girl
John Lloyd Cruz pairs up with Toni Gonzaga in this romantic-comedy film that is all about missing chances and getting a second shot at them. He plays Apollo, a commitment-allergic guy who left his fiancée Irene (played by Toni) at the altar on their wedding day. After a couple of years, he starts to feel ready to be committed–only to find out that he can’t just as easily because “the one” hasn’t arrived yet. Or maybe she had, but he let her go. And then fate brings him and Irene together again, when one day he saw her while doing some grocery. However, Irene cannot seem to remember him because of an accident-caused amnesia. What follows then is a comic series of gestures and actions Apollo uses to help Irene regain her memory and, ultimately, to win her back. But in the end, the lies have undone themselves. Apollo finds out Irene was just faking the illness because of her anger at him for leaving. However, time has made them both wiser and braver. Thus, a happy ending ensues when both decided to simply forgive and let love take over.
Why I Like the Movie:
I find romantic-comedies likeable if only because I strongly associate them with chick lit books: fun to watch/read but not for deep thinking. They’re good to watch when you want something that isn’t too heavy and one that you can easily understand. In particular, I like My Amnesia Girl because it’s very modern with a great amount of humor in it. A good comic addition are the “punchlines”, more popularly called “pick-up lines”. I think they’re really creative, albeit the fact that sometime in the middle part of the movie they can actually wear a viewer down. But for all of those lines to be thought of, I can only say the movie’s writers are exceptionally smart.
Why I Like Him in the Movie:
A Scene from My Amnesia Girl (palabas.tumblr.com)
This is John Lloyd Cruz like you’ve never seen him before. Lately, he’s being known not only for his acting abilities but also for his comic and cutesy antics. He has a sense of humor that isn’t too overrated, spontaneous, and non-surreal. In the movie, John Lloyd dances and sings and is totally matured and good-natured. I like that he looks different in it, almost entirely new. Most importantly, I appreciate his ability to easily connect with a new partner.
In My Life
The mother-and-son team-up of Vilma Santos and Luis Manzano is what John Lloyd joins to come up with a highly dramatic and infinitely artistic film as in In My Life. Shirley (Santos), Mark’s (Manzano) mother, decided to try to live in New York where her son is already living and working to supposedly ease her problematic life. She was surprised to find that Mark actually lives with his partner Noel (Cruz). She didn’t seem to approve of the relationship, and Noel, at first. But Noel did everything he could to make her feel at ease both with him and New York City at large. He and Mark went to take her around the city, show her the beautiful sites, and orient her about the life at the Big Apple. Soon, Shirley learned her way around and even found jobs she could make a living of. What seemed to be a blossoming happy life was disrupted when Mark was diagnosed with cancer, a news he shared only with Noel for fear that Shirley would be disappointed and sad. Noel’s part in the lie was what made him and Shirley fall out again, which then translated into a nasty fight after Mark suddenly died from an accident. In the end, Shirley and Noel both realized many important lessons that being with and having Mark have taught them.
Why I Like the Movie:
In My Life is a fresh and very free movie. It tackles homosexuality in an honest and objective way, without too much drama and with a sense of acceptance that not a lot of films can show. In fact, homosexuality isn’t the be-all of the movie. There are other factors, too, like the mother and son relationship, life, death, and love. I like that the film neither underrate nor overrate its actors, considering that it top-bills a veteran actress. The scenes are carried out in a fluent manner without the distracting hysterics that most modern actors use to a dismaying extent. Finally, I appreciate the parallelism that is evident in terms of the setting–New York City–and the targeted message that is freedom.
Why I Like Him in the Movie:
John Lloyd Cruz as Noel (pinoyexchange.com)
John Lloyd Cruz is a gay in this movie. If anything, I feel like this is the role that has showcased all of his abilities as an actor. Local showbiz critics used to say that you know an actor is good if what you see in him/her when he/she portrays is the character. And in this movie, I realized what that must mean. His portrayal of a gay role, which is extremely out of his usual line of characters, is laudable. He didn’t exaggerate like other actors seemed to do. I especially liked the way he dealt with his highly dramatic and heavy scene with Vilma Santos.
One More Chance
John Lloyd, together with his popular on-screen partner Bea Alonzo, tops this highly acclaimed story of heartache, letting go, and a second chance. Popoy (Cruz) and Basha (Alonzo) had been together for the last five years, through fits and fights, filled with both happy and sad moments all couples got. They were set to be married. But something went wrong for Basha. It was maybe her unrewarding job as an architect, or Popoy’s workaholism, or his being too controlling . . . too rational. Whatever it was, Basha knew just one thing for sure: she had to break free. And break free she did, leaving Popoy with plenty of unanswered questions. What followed was a nasty match of hurt, pain of the leaving versus pain of the one being left. Months after, Popoy finally accepted what had happened and did move on to a new, apparently healthier relationship. But a love like theirs–Popoy and Basha’s–was the kind that would hurt even more to let go even after you had decided to. The kind that would always, always make you want one more chance.
Why I Liked the Movie:
Popular scene from One More Chance (lettersformyjarahby.wordpress.com)
The movie has a certain rawness in it, the reality of a heartache, and the fact that it seems to happen even in non-fairytale-like relationships. I like how the story started in the steep fall of Popoy and Basha’s relationship, sparing the viewers of the all-too cliché first meetings of chick flicks.It was a difficult movie, especially if you can relate to any of the characters, if you can imagine yourself saying their words, if you have ever wondered about the same things. I like how the film was able to tackle the issue–breaking up and letting go–in a manner that does not fully focus on the couple involved. There are other factors, too, like the family and friends, new acquaintances, works. The movie is based on reality and has a direct way of showcasing this.
Why I Liked Him in the Movie:
John Lloyd Cruz as Popoy (kamilluh.tumblr.com)
One More Chance is, I feel, the film that had extracted so much from John Lloyd. He had a very different character in the movie, surprisingly mature, and beautifully positioned. He was able to manifest both pain and joy, to show how he could cope with any situation in any role. I guess it worked even better because he was with Bea Alonzo, with whom he had worked numerous times before. All in all, John Lloyd had even more depth in this movie.
John Lloyd Cruz is has a style that almost always surprises the viewers. He doesn’t need to portray simple boy-next-door characters to appear appealing. What makes him more noticeable then is his acting’s depth, the way he seems to emanate real emotions, with lines and words that have no doubt came from the heart.