If someone were to ask me what I remember most about this movie, I would say, partly to scandalize them, partly as a joke, and partly as the truth, “Hagdang-hagdang kahalayan.” (Let’s all be honest, it was among the most forward of love scenes Filipino movies have dared to do.
And I still wonder how comfortable that was.)
The movie opens with Allan Alvarez (John Lloyd Cruz) cruising the now-clean Pasig River. He sees Mia Samonte (Bea Alonzo) but he pays no mind. The second time he sees her he is intrigued. The third time he does, he plays the hero and she slaps him in the face. And so they met. And it was love. It was a whirlwind romance. But they are so perfect for each other, they’re happy being with each other, and he has been living with his long-time girlfriend, Daphne Recto (Maricar Reyes). Mia finds out and she distances herself. Or at least she tried to. They had a magnetic attraction, the movie makes sure the audience can’t blame them for what happened in the stairs. Confused, Allan is made to choose (“Isa lang ang puso mo, dapat isa lang ang laman nyan. Kailangan mamili ka. Pero pag namili ka, tiyak may masasaktan. Kung di ka naman mamimili, dalawa silang sinasaktan mo.”) Allan promises Mia he’ll choose her, he promises himself as well. But he never does and we wonder what happened.
Years later, Allan arrives in Malaysia. He knows Mia works there. He still loves her. She still loves him. But he’s hurt her, and she has a boyfriend.
We know this formula. We know how it ends, it ends with them together. We know what happens. Yet despite all that, the movie works. As one writer had pointed out, it’s not always the destination that counts, sometimes a movie works not because of its predictability, sometimes what matters is the journey. Miss You Lika Crazy works because it was delivered in such a way that makes it poignant, memorable, and angsty. It works because of how it was presented.
My favorite Filipino actor is John Lloyd Cruz. No, I don’t find him attractive, but man can he act. And contrary to most people I know, I prefer the John Lloyd-Bea pairing. Where others rely on one-liners worthy of being pick-up lines – John Lloyd and Bea does not. One look is all it takes. And that’s better because it’s more realistic.
I obviously love the movie. I cried halfway through it until it ended. I cried the whole time. I have branded this as my personal cryfest movie. Everytime I want to cry, Miss You Like Crazy never fails me. Although, I have to say, one thing that I didn’t like is its reliance on time and fate too much. Still in spite of that, the movie works. And it will be remembered.