Two booking schedules obtained by InterAksyon from an industry source reveal that Star Cinema had reserved the November 14, 2012 playdate in April and June last year for a movie with the title “In Love We Trust”.
“In Love We Trust” is the title of the Chinese film which Star Cinema’s Metro Manila Film Festival entry “One More Try” is being accused of copying.
The two schedules showed that as of April and June 2012, a film called “In Love We Trust” produced by Star Cinema and starring “Angel, Angelica, Dingdong” was indeed given a November 14 playdate by the National Cinema Association of the Philippines.
As earlier reported by InterAksyon, at least two entertainment blogsites reported in April that Angel Locsin, Dingdong Dantes, and Angelica Panganiban will headline a Star Cinema movie called “In Love We Trust”.
The project apparently became known as “One More Try” when Star Cinema fielded it as an MMFF entry, effectively forfeiting its original November 14 playdate.
To date, neither anyone representing Star Cinema, the Metro Manila Film Festival and the Metro Manila Development Authority has issued any statements to acknowledge that “One More Try” was adapted from “In Love We Trust”.
“One More Try” won seven awards in the festival, including Best Picture and Best Screenplay.
As the issue rages on, at least two film bloggers who have seen both films have noted the similarities and differences of both.
“For anyone that has seen ‘In Love We Trust’, it is undeniable that the story [of 'One More Try'] is the same. They did add a bit more drama and modified the characters a bit,” blogger and freelance photographer Dale Bacar told InterAksyon.
In his review (http://bum-spot.blogspot.com/2012/12/review-one-more-try.html) of “One More Try” posted at his blog site called, Bum-Spot, Bacar, who majored in Film and Audio-Visual Communication at the University of the Philippines, wrote, “At least when compared to ‘One More Try’, ‘In Love We Trust’ is a far more superior movie with excellent actors than what the local adaptation could ever hope to be or to have.
“While ‘In Love We Trust’ was poignant in its simplicity and effectively relayed the burden of the characters in silence, ‘One More Try’ takes the opposite route and relied on melodrama and overbearing music…I personally have nothing against them copying the main story of ‘In Love We Trust’ but I did expect them to improve on the 2007 film. What they managed to do, however, is highlight the inferior quality of the commercial films that we produce and waste whatever good talent we have in the industry,” he added.
In his subsequent interview with InterAksyon, Bacar also said that what the people behind the film should have done is “at least refrained from saying that the work is ‘kakaiba’, thereby implying that it is unique and original.”
A similar view is shared by Jae Reyes, who wrote in his own review that was also posted on the same site, “It’s hard to not compare this movie from ‘In Love We Trust’ since they obviously ‘borrowed’ from the first movie’s plot and story. It is a bit disheartening that a movie outfit as big as Star Cinema would allow their reputation to be tarnished by ‘Sotto-ing’.”
Veteran movie scribe Jojo Gabinete, however, came to the defense of “One More Try” in his column for the tabloid, Abante, saying that the issue will have no effect on the Best Picture award or its continued box-office success.
“Nakatulong pa nga ang kontrobersya dahil bukod sa best picture trophy na napanalunan ng ‘One More Try’, nadagdagan ang manonood na gustong makita ang pagkakaiba ng kuwento ng pelikula sa Chinese film counterpart nito,” Gabinete wrote.
He added that he could not recall anyone from the “One More Try” cast and crew claiming that their story is an original one. He did not, however, mention if anyone ever acknowledged the film’s plot as lifted or inspired by any other particular film. Be that as it may, Gabinete insists that this is not the first time an issue like this was publicly raised.
“Hindi rin ito ang unang pagkakataon na nagkaroon ng isyu at kontrobersya na kinopya mula sa foreign films ang plot ng isang Filipino movie,” Gabinete pointed out.