As we head into what greeting card companies tell us is the most romantic month of the year, hopeless romantics will enjoy starting it off by catching Regal Films’ pre-Valentine’s day offering Elise which is a story based on real-life events. This is the second movie pairing of Enchong Dee and Janine Gutierrez after doing the 2016 horror film Lila. The two actors show surprising chemistry in the more than a decade-long love story.
The story begins with a shy eight-year-old student Bert who ends up in an unlikely friendship with Elise, his taller and way more extroverted classmate. The two become the best of friends and more until Elise and her family move away to the city. Fast forward to the 1990s where Bert and Elise cross paths again in college. And their love story almost picks up again where it left off—if it weren’t for Elise’s current boyfriend.
But more than the enduring love story Bert and Elise, the movie’s backdrop was also just as interesting to see. The absence of mobile phones and social media brings us back to a time when direct communication mattered and thoughts were genuinely expressed or withheld for a reason. The couple’s story builds up over a significant amount of time and not just focused on a year or less which shows not just their growth, but the change in maturity and purpose in life.
Acting wise, Enchong makes us always want to root for Bert, feel his pain, and celebrate in his happy moments. His leading lady Janine also shined as the conflicted and always gorgeous (even while soaking wet) Elise who also reminds us of the girl The Eraserheads vocalist Ely Buendia was singing about about in their hit song “Ang Huling El Bimbo.” Aside from the relaxing pace of the film, Elise has all the ‘90s feels that gives the romantic drama a melancholic but still modern vibe.
Watch Elise in cinemas nationwide starting February 6, Wednesday.