‘Gynecological’ drama opts for melodramatic approach


DANTES. Turns in most focused portrayal.

Ruel Bayani’s “One More Try” is the melodrama to beat in the ongoing Metro Manila Film Festival, copping the Best Picture award and doing well at the box office, to boot. It stars Star Magic regulars, Angelica Panganiban, Angel Locsin and Zanjoe Marudo—plus fresh import Dingdong Dantes, from the other side of the entertainment pond.

The film can best be described as a “gynecological melodrama,” because it’s all about pregnancy and its various outcomes and permutations.

Item: Angelica, Dingdong’s wife, delivered their child but it died, and the couple have remained childless to this day. Item: Dingdong doesn’t know it, but he has a love child with former girlfriend, Angel. She’s kept the young boy a secret, but she has to tell Dingdong about it now, because their child has a grave illness that she needs his help to deal with. Item: Angel’s current beau, Zanjoe, tries to be understanding and supportive, but the sticky situation sometimes gets too much for him.

Huge problem

In fact, it’s a huge problem for everybody, because the little patient’s life is at stake, and he’s totally dependent on the decisions they make. For Dingdong and Angel, it eventually means having sex to get her pregnant(!), so that she can deliver another child who will eventually be able to supply their stricken boy with the bone marrow he needs to survive and get well again.

—Well, you can imagine how Angelica and Zanjoe feel about that!

To its credit, the film’s scripting is exceedingly eventful, so viewers’ attention and interest are sustained. Trouble is, the dramatic and tragic possibilities of the movie’s central conflict are compromised by the merely melodramatic treatment that it’s generally given by the production and its style of storytelling.

This proves to be a major distraction, because the boy’s potentially tragic fate deserves a deeper mode of presentation. However, due to the movie’s focus on its adult characters rather than on the little boy, tempestuous melodrama has to rule the day.

In terms of performance, all of the four leads are given their “moment,” but Angelica’s portrayal is hobbled by her being too young for the character she’s assigned to play, as written. They try to make her look more mature, but the ploy isn’t successful.

Angel has no such inhibiting problem, but sometimes focuses too much on the externals of her portrayal for it to be as deeply moving as it should. Zanjoe’s character isn’t in on the conflict’s gynecological complications, so he comes off even less pertinently.


In the light of this comparative analysis, the most focused and credible performance is the one turned in by Dingdong. Still, we should note that it is also limited by the movie’s pragmatically melodramatic approach and “attack.”

Other restricting factors include the fussy supporting portrayals turned in by Carmina Villaroel, Gina Pareño and sundry other friends, colleagues and shoulders to cry on.

Despite these limitations, “One More Try” is a technically solid piece of work and thus commands our attention. But, it falls short of being a memorable movie due to its expediently melodramatic intentions—and execution.

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  • tabingbakod

    No mention of the story being copied from a chinese movie “In Love We Trust”.

    Star Cinema is a plagerist. They are incapable of thinking of an original idea if their life depended on it.

  • Vivian Balsa

    before you  accuse Star Cinema of plagiarism you better watch that Chinese movie first you are bragging about then if it’s not too much to bear for you, watch One More be the judge. i have seen that movie in full length…yes both have the same dilemma, a dying child who needs bone marrow from a sibling….but totally different in story telling approach…do you comprehend now!  I bet you’ve just seen the trailer ….not the whole movie. Tsk…shallow HAL!

    • hustlergalore


      one more try structure = in love we trust structure. same characters, same conflict, same dilemma, same resolve.

      one more try story telling approach (aka treatment) not equals in love we trust. one more try is loud, soap operatic whereas in love we trust is silent, understated.

      pero siyempre, may binago sa pinakapangunahing plot point (obviously) na: one more try doctor insists that both exes should have sex samantala ang in love we trust doctor only explains that if there is a sibling, a match can be found katulad nang sa isang pasyente niya. it is only then that mei zhu thinks of having another child with the ex as her solution. sa una, nag-artificial insemination pero palpak. so, panuorin nyo na lang ang kasunod. LOL

      since in love we trust is inspired by the film zuo yo  and did not acknowledge xiaoshuai wang and zuo yo still is the better film, therefore, one more try comes off as a ripoff.

      also, one more try’s working title was, voila, in love we trust! did you forget that? it was in their press releases back in summer.

  • B88C

    In short, what the film doesn’t have is CREATIVITY. 

  • Marie Antoinette

    Question is, is having sex the only way to get pregnant and having a child biologically? There’s artificial insemination, there’s IVF.

  • Lily

    The author or writer is so ignorant of current technology. IVF is the answer.
    Widen your knowledge. Make it more believable.

  • Catalina15

    If it’s all about pregnancy, it should be an “obstetrical” drama. Not a “gynecological” drama. Two different bananas.

  • fox

    This is a frakkin rip-off of the movie, My Sister’s Keeper. Duh.  Why MMFF always allow this rip-off movies to be masqueraded as originals.   The movie industry should censure writers who have the habit of ripping-off storylines from foreign movies without acknowledging the original. Any Pinoy movies nowadays are all rip-off storylines… Very annoying.

  • fox

    Another rip-off movie was the Moments of Love. I watched it with my wife, and to my horror, the storyline was just a rip-off of The Lake House.  Can we jail these brainless writers who fed filipino moviegoers with plagiarize storylines? why can’t movie company encourage indie writers to write full-length films with original story/plot?

  • Bet Logg

    copycat of chinese movie “in love we trust” how come it become a best screenplay. the judges clueless of  whAT THEY JUDGING..and how come a newborn child can save his brother ,have they done a research that before you are a bone marrow donor or any organ donor  their is by the time the younger boy become   a qualified DONOR ,maybe his older brother already die…sorry but filipino movies its lack of substance,mostly the movies that they make is more on aldutery,kabit,taboo.same same movie..because that is mabenta sa masa…

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