August 4, 2021

The universe in your heart

My friend amanda

My friend Amanda (My Amanda) is a Filipino romance drama written, directed, produced and performed by Alessandra de Rossi. The story tells of the lifelong friendship between TJ and Amanda. As your worlds change and evolve, the bond that binds them is the only thing that remains intact. It stars almost solo by Piolo Pascual (The Halt, Season of the Devil) Y Alessandra de Rossi (I See You, A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery). The film has been released in Netflix on July 15, 2021.

A romance without sex

My friend amanda it is a romantic drama without romance. At least not consummated with sex. And it is that the story of the film presents us with two characters who love and need each other as a couple, but who prefer to maintain their friendship over a possible romantic relationship that could make them lose the purity of that relationship. The two friends are TJ and Amanda, aka Fluffy and Fream, which is the stupid pet name (spoken by themselves) that they use to address each other. Yes, they sometimes have very childish behaviors. The entire movie will revolve solely around the strength of that relationship over the years, so don’t expect a twisty or overly elaborate storyline.

The leading actress, Alessandra de Rossi, is also a screenwriter, director and producer of the film. All in one. It is common in short filmmakers who start in amateur cinema (often with quite disastrous results), but in professional cinema unless you are a genius (and it is not the case) it usually becomes an excessive sample and unnecessary narcissistic onanism. There are several scenes where I would have needed someone to stop the of Rossi actress to contain her desire to overreact to be liked and to want to appear as the most beautiful in the kingdom. Still, the of Rossi The director shows a certain maturity in the camera work of her debut, achieving with simplicity that her story circulates between the natural and the fabulous. The photographer helps a lot in that Boy Yniguez (The Portrait, Imbisibol) which offers some pretty pretty postcard images.

More than friends

Both the beginning and the end of My friend amanda they incorporate sequences where the immensity of the universe monopolizes the screen. These are moments that seem to be taken from a science fiction film rather than from a romantic drama. It is a lyrical mirage that serves to contextualize a friendship story based on long dialogues with slight reminiscences of the famous trilogy of Linklater. Of course, the voice-over that is used as a temporal separator of the sequences is horrible. The film seeks to reflect on the possibility of maintaining a lasting friendship between a man and a woman without the need for anything else to be between them. Too bad your speech ends up being somewhat tricky and incoherent.

Even agreeing with the theory that it would have given an original twist to the romantic cinema of a lifetime, it does not filter as it is proposed within the film. There is a sexual tension does not happen that constantly floats in the environment. They are not friends who do not sleep because they are not physically attracted, it is evident that they do. In addition, they make absurd jokes that regularly enhance sexual misunderstandings such as “do you want me to show you a tit?”, “Do we shower together?”, “Can you give me a kiss?”, “Do we do it all at once ?”, etc etc. According to them, it is part of an innocent game, but rather it seems that they do not consume their love out of pure fear. Another piece of information that shows this is that each one of them maintains several disastrous romantic relationships, their courtships never last or end very badly. It is an indication that in their eventual partners they are looking for what they feel for each other. All these details end up dismantling the theory on which the film revolves and that after the first 30 minutes it loses all our interest.

My friend amanda It is a long short film with some curious or funny scenes. Not everything is laughter nor the carpe diem. He has reserved us an especially dramatic and sweetened final half hour not suitable for diabetics. It is a pity that a little seen starting point is wasted that could have served for a much more honest reflection on human relations. Or about the fine line that separates friendship from love, beyond gender. Even so, if you are one of those who tend to get excited by romantic comedies / dramas or the telenovelesque tone of mid-afternoon serials, you can find here an exotic film that continues to feed your romantic heart within the unrealistic universe it poses. If the subject is not much for you, you will only have the possibility of humming the “Through The Fire” of Chaka Khan, the leit-motiv of the life of the protagonist and little else.

What do you think of the movie?

My friend amanda