It Takes a Man and a Woman is the third time that John Lloyd Cruz and Sarah Geronimo are seen on the big screen as Miggy Montenegro and Laida Magtalas, respectively. This “version 3.0” of one of the most successful love teams in Philippine movie history comes four years after its sequelYou Changed My Life. One need not watch the first two films in order to appreciateIt Takes a Man and a Woman since the movie can stand on its own story-wise. Also, this Cathy Garcia Molina film doesn’t begin where it last left off. However, previous knowledge of Miggy and Laida’s dynamic would make the experience of watching It Takes a Man and a Woman more fun, if not more “kilig.”
In part three of the Miggy-Laida franchise, John Lloyd’s character is his usual arrogant and conflicted self. He is demoted from his esteemed position in the Montenegro family business. Miggy is given the task of saving his family’s publishing company with the help of his New-York-based ex-girlfriend Laida.
As a result, moviegoers are treated to a slew of entertaining one-upmanship and funny, cute, relatable banter between the ex-lovers.
While Miggy is still the same pompous and spoiled man-child that Laida left behind, Sarah’s character seems to have morphed from a giddy lovesick girl to a self-assured and fierce woman who is in charge of her life—or is she? The movie explores the moving on process, betrayal, forgiveness as well as the loss of—and the regaining of trust. Direk Cathy manages to deal with this topic in an engaging way without being too heavy-handed. The gap between the requisite friction between the two exes at the start of the story and the film’s resolution in the end are filled with interesting details, engaging humor and poignant drama without these appearing contrived. Similarly, the comedy, romance and heart-wrenching scenes were balanced and properly paced.
Star Cinema has struck a gold mine thanks to the onscreen magic between John Lloyd Cruz and Sarah Geronimo. Their tandem has once again worked as they exude strong onscreen chemistry in It Takes a Man and a Woman. I personally believe no other onscreen partnership has been this charming and endearing.
Sarah Geronimo’s vulnerability is adorable while her new-found fierceness is laugh-out-loud funny without being over-the-top. Though it is unclear and odd why she needs to wear a wig throughout the film, it didn’t distract from her appeal. John Lloyd Cruz, always the expert on emotional nuance, is both lovable and loathsome as a man who wants to be good but can’t get his act together. Though the New York scenes are obvious tactics to wring more romance and “kilig” from the would-be lovers, they still worked. The sub-plot of Laida’s parents, as portrayed by Al Tantay and Irma Adlawan, gave Laida’s predicament more depth.
Matet de Leon, Gio Alvarez and Joross Gamboa are effective as the people jeering and cheering the main stars on. Joross sparkles among the three and it is too bad that he is given roles that relegates him to being in the sidelines. Isabelle Daza exudes classy elegance as Miggy’s girlfriend—a perfect contrast to Sarah’s high-strung performance. Isabelle’s subdued crying scene by the film’s end is similarly affecting. Loyal fans of Miggy and Laida would appreciate this movie as well as those new to the dynamic of their onscreen relationship.
Will there be a Part 4 in the love story of Laida and Miggy? The standingroom-only crowd of moviegoers who refused to leave even after the credits have rolled would certainly appreciate another.