Dark secret derails Coco and Julia’s trip to Happily Ever After
“A Moment in Time” is weighed down by a shifty sequence of events and an awkward mix of situational humor and pathos—but, there’s much to like about Emmanuel Palo’s romantic tearjerker as it follows the love story of Patrick Javier (Coco Martin), a poor painter grappling with grief, and guilt-stricken violinist, Jillian Linden (Julia Montes).
Patrick’s dreams were put on hold after his Doha-bound mother (Zsa Zsa Padilla) was run over by a reckless driver, before she could give her family a more comfortable life. The tragedy left Patrick and his younger sister, Mai Mai (Ella Cruz), in dire financial straits—a situation that gets a refreshing reprieve when the promising artist meets the affluent but elusive Jillian.
Sparks fly when the lisping, self-confessed jolog and his under-aged paramour answer the call of the romantic wild, and not even the subtle warnings of
Jillian’s parents (Gabby Concepcion and Cherie Gil) can stop the beleaguered pair from falling deeply for each other—until a dark secret from their past derails their trip to Happily Ever After, and allows the couple’s star-crossed tale to “relocate” some 10,500 kilometers away—to its dramatic chapter in the Netherlands!
There’s nothing groundbreaking about Patrick and Jillian’s tale, but what Palo’s three-hanky drama has in extenuating abundance is a familiar story with a frisson of romantic excitement, presented with stylistic flair. Also given unconventional tweaking are Concepcion and Gil’s “likable” contrarians, traditionally played with histrionic, over-the-top gusto.
Montes is lovely to behold—but, while she comes off as truthful and sympathetic, her character is too phlegmatic to rise above her weakly threshed-out naivete.
Martin has a tougher dramatic row to hoe: True, it’s difficult to find fault with his enthusiasm, which showcases his thespic “haberdashery”—from charismatic kook to ardent pursuer to guileless interloper to repentant lover.
Unfortunately, those shifts are harder to pull off and come to grips with, because they occasionally feel pompous and episodic, and this prevents Coco from turning in a cohesive characterization.
Despite our aforementioned quibbles, “A Moment in Time” is viewable because it manages to overcome its narrative encumbrances, as it paves the way for its requisite storybook ending!