|Credits to Xian Lim's Instagram account - xianlimm|
This is a long overdue review of this film that made me laugh so hard and fall in love even more with its two leads. I watched it along with my family, including my 3 and 9-year-old nieces who both adore KimXi. We made sure that we were at the cinema before the first screening, but the line was so long that we ended up 10 minutes late for the screening, but at least, we were still able to secure good seats.
I am not really a fan of the director in terms of her visuals. But Direk Mae Cruz is a genius when it comes to storytelling. She makes sure that she does not leave anything hanging or missed out.
Story wise, Bride for Rent is quite simple and formulaic. Based on the casts' past interviews, they started filming this without a finished story and script, so at the start, they did not have any idea as to where this would lead. The writers of this film, I believe, were on-call on the set most of the time. I can just imagine the rigorous brainstorming sessions that took place after each working day or even after each take, while the group was still creating this bound to be blockbuster hit.
The finished film was a group effort and they appeared to have a happy ambience on the set most of the time, based on the Instagram and Twitter posts of many of the people involved in its creation.
It is not the story that lured many of its viewers to pay in order to see the film. Even with the trailer, you would already know that it is a cliche type of story. Most people flocked the cinemas for three reasons: 1. Kim Chiu was very funny. Even in the trailer, one will laud at Kim's comedic timing. She was good in BHKCNCM, but she was at her best (in terms of comedy) in BFR. 2. Xian Lim already has gotten a lot of swooning girls' following from BHKCNCM and he looks even sexier in BFR. He has also improved a lot in acting, especially with his dramatic moments. 3. The most important reason why many people could not get enough of the film and many are willing to pay for it over and over again to take another peek is the enigmatic chemistry between Kim and Xian. When I watched it, people were so kilig each time Rocco and Rocky would share the screen time. This loveteam has the magic that is quite hard to ignore.
After the first screening ended, we were supposed to transfer seats, so that we could be nearer to the exit since we would only be catching up on the few scenes that we did not see. But there seemed to be an onslaught of people in the cinema that no one could leave their seats, even just to take a CR break, worried that they would lose their places. It was even more surprising when we were about to leave the cinema. We could not find the stairs. People were all over. There were people up to the CR’s doors and they were all willing to endure such viewing experience in order to watch this flick. It was the first time that I experienced this in the cinema. It was the first weekend run of BFR. The next weekend, they already opened two cinemas, which both became full-packed.
Congrats to the BFR team and its coherent director. Congrats to the writers and other creative staff for coming up with memorable lines. Congrats to the efficient supporting casts. Congrats to Kim and Xian and their overflowing chemistry.
After the hit and success came the KimXi break-up on TV:
Rocco and Rocky are ordinary characters that were given life and excitement by Kim and Xian. For sure, many viewers have become fans of the team-up after seeing the film. They weren't given this kind of exposure on their TV projects. Most of the time, especially on their last TV soap, Ina, Kapatid, Anak, it appeared that they were only used, especially Kim, since she was the bigger star, in order to boost the career of the other actors. The horrors of IKA, there were even nights when Kim would have fewer scenes in favor of Maja Salvador's character, even if the latter would only frequent the bar and other unimportant scenes that could have already been omitted.
Well, that's the difference between TV and film. Although I am not happy with the news that ABS-CBN has decided to break the KimXi tandem on TV, giving Kim different partners (both actors whom are favored by the drama unit known as Dreamscape, Jake Cuenca and Coco Martin) and not having announced regarding what they plan about Xian's TV career, I think that it is already expected, although it still hurts.
From the fans' point of view, both Xian and Kim are not their drama unit's favorites. As a KimXi fan, I am already looking forward to their movies. If ever Xian would be delegated to another drama unit, I also look forward to the roles that would be given to him. As for Kim, I am pretty sure that many of her fans are now worried that she might again be given the kind of treatment that she had with IKA and, of course, Tayong Dalawa, which eventually became a Coco-centric soap and they even killed Kim's character in the end. Both soaps were produced by Dreamscape. At least, this new soap that stars Kim along with Coco Martin, will be handled by her director in My Binondo Girl, Malu Sevilla. I hope that Direk Malu will give Kim the proper exposure and airtime that she deserves with her status, being not only a hitmaker on TV, but on movies as well. I will watch it for the love of Kim.
I will miss the KimXi tandem on TV. I will miss Kim doing comedy. It is hard to be a fangirl, especially when the actors that you are rooting for work in a station, where favoritism is the name of the game. Well, at least, I still could hope for their future movies and while it is still showing, let us all watch Bride for Rent over and over again.