Shealea reacts to: I’m Drunk I Love You (2017) – a film review

Title: I’m Drunk I Love You
Director: Jamie Habac Jr.
Writer: Giancarlo Abrahan, Jamie Habac Jr.
Cast: Maja Salvador (Carson), Paulo Avelino (Dio), Dominic Roco (Jason Ty)
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Year of release: 2017

* More about the film on IMDb and Facebook.
* Watch the official movie trailer.

Having studied together in the University of the Philippines Diliman for seven years (segue: HUHUHU JUST TYPING THIS MAKES ME SO FRAGILE), best friends Carson and Dio decide to go on a road trip to a music festival in La Union just days before their graduation. Carson, having been secretly in love with Dio since their freshman year in college, is wary about the spontaneous venture but drags along Jason Ty who, in turn, challenges her to finally confess her feelings. However, I’m Drunk I Love You (IDILY) is not quite a love story, but is instead an off-beat romantic comedy that explores unrequited affection and celebrates the fleetingness and fragility of youth.

Brief rambling: Unlike 2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten (read my review) and Baka Bukas (review to follow!), I was not actually required to watch I’m Drunk I Love You for my film class. I first saw its movie trailer when I went to the cinema to watch the controversial Metro Manila Film Festival 2016 entry, Oro. With a tagline of “Drink moderately, love fully”, I could not stop myself from anticipating this film’s release. For months, I’ve waited to watch it on the big screen!

I think most people would classify IDILY as a “hugot” (note: hugot is a colloquial slang for something that is deeply emotional, oftentimes related to romance) film because the main narrative revolves around how Carson deals with her romantic feelings for her best friend and highlights how often she fluctuates between holding on and finally letting go. So many of my friends, as well as fellow bloggers (check out Louise’s review of I’m Drunk I Love You), have expressed (particularly on social media) how they found it nearly effortless to relate to Carson’s plight as they have all, in one way or another, experienced the anguishes of being stuck in the “friend zone” firsthand. In fact, I believe one of the most iconic quotes from the IDILY is as follows:

“Hindi mo naman kasalanan kung hindi mo ako mahal.” [“It is not your fault that you don’t love me.”]

Personally, as someone with extremely little experience in that department, I could not identify with Carson to that extent and on that level. Instead, I was able to better relate with her unease and noticeable uncertainty when it comes to finally entering adulthood and pursuing her career. In other words, I easily empathized with her (and Dio’s, actually) college struggles, especially because (1) I’m currently studying in the University of the Philippines Diliman, (2) I’m also delayed (because I shifted to another degree program), and (3) I am already in my fourth year and I still don’t know what the hell I want to do with my life.

Confession: The only scene I cried in was when I finally got to see Carson’s sablay(!!!). If I weren’t writing a somewhat formal review, I’d be typing things like, “Gago, hindi kinaya ng fragility ko. My heart has been wrecked, fam.” and “#triggered” and “puta, huhubells”. (Sorry, I don’t think any of these have a concrete equivalent or translation in English, so I can’t really help you there. Just know that I was very emotional.)

However, this is not to say that I felt totally indifferent during the scenes that depict heartbreak. Honestly, I am not a huge fan of Maja Salvador but for the most part, I am genuinely impressed by her acting in this film. Although there are a handful of scenes in which I found her performance to be slightly overdone, during one of the movie’s pivotal scenes between her character and Dio (I won’t go into detail so as to avoid spoilers), my feelings were tugged in a hardly merciful manner.

I managed to see parts of myself in Dio, who is played by the ridiculously cute Paulo Avelino. Dio’s frustration with the fruitlessness of pursuing his passions (i.e. films and music) accurately reflects my own insecurities with writing to an extent that it almost frightened me. Additionally, like Dio, I feel as lost as ever.

Jason Ty’s character is clearly my favorite one. I liked how his role is more than just being Carson’s token gay best friend. He even has his own little storyline happening! I also enjoyed how Jason Ty’s character shows depth and that his homosexuality is portrayed rather realistically as compared to a lot of Filipino movies wherein the LGBT+ character is often a caricature adhering to common stereotypes. Additionally, I found it amusing how he is always referred to with his entire name – he isn’t Jason, he’s Jason Ty. It is a very small detail in the film and yet it is one of those things you can’t stop yourself from noticing. I think having a friend whose last name is automatically pinned to his/her first name is a staple constant in every barkada. But I digress.

As I mentioned earlier, IDILY isn’t exactly a love story. At least, that’s how I see it. In my opinion, a more accurate and justifiable description would be: an emotionally uplifting tale about the finality of moving forward and how moving forward begins with making a decision, which ultimately is an empowering lesson we all desperately need to hear. While the film certainly tackles themes of unrequited love, grief and inner emotional turmoil, as evidenced by Carson’s habitual drinking and moments of ferocious turbulence, IDILY also largely shows a person’s capacity to heal on his or her own (albeit sometimes with the assistance of alcohol).

Furthermore, what makes IDILY so remarkably authentic and wonderfully endearing (other than the hugot factor, that is) lies in its quirks, tiny details and tidbits of eccentricity. The frequent spotting of beer bottles, the hilarious little bagnet dance, the ‘h’ in the name “Pathy”, the song about John Lloyd – these are things you will notice, remember with fondness, and hold close to your heart even after the film ends.

With all that said, I can completely understand why this film has been successful in quickly turning heads their way. Admittedly, it is not a perfect film. In fact, one could argue that the storyline of IDILY is not maximized and fully exhausted, and we, as an audience, are left with missing pieces of information. One could also point out the lack of uniqueness in the plot and several other flaws. Regardless, the hype for IDILY is warranted. It’s a cinematic masterpiece that most people my age (particularly those trying to “#adult”) can identify with, regardless of whether they’ve fallen in love with their best friend or not.

Truly, I’m Drunk I Love You is a remarkably evocative, refreshingly sincere and delightfully realistic portrayal of adolescence and growing up. The ultimate film for millennials.

Damn it. Now I’m craving for bagnet again.

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First of her name. Queen of lists and spreadsheets. Protector of books. Breaker of norms. Iskolar ng bayan.

7 thoughts on “Shealea reacts to: I’m Drunk I Love You (2017) – a film review”

    1. It doesn’t tackle homosexuality as thoroughly as the movies you’ve mentioned. It’s more of a hugot film talaga, albeit the delivery was more profound and tasteful than mainstream hugot films. But it does have the same ✨ millennial ✨ feel as Baka Bukas.

      I guess what I’m trying to say is that it doesn’t make sense to compare IDILY to either Baka Bukas or 2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten. At least, in my opinion. But I do think it’s worth watching! It’s a film our generation can really relate to, tbh. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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