‘All of You’ and the signs of the times

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TESSA MAURICIO-ARRIOLA

Derek, Jennylyn-starrer present real takes on marriage today

No one thought that the romantic-comedy “English Only Please,” starring Jennylyn Mercado and Derek Ramsay, could run away with acting awards and a blockbuster turn out in 2014’s Metro Manila Festival.

Up against an elaborate period movie “Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo” starring Robin Padilla; a technically sophisticated horror by Erik Matti in “Kubot: The Aswang Chronicles;” and former MMFF blockbuster queen Kris Aquino’s “Feng Shui” sequel among others, English Only was the year’s sleeper hit and deserved to be so because of a fresh albeit simple story line, delivered with unpretentious acting.

Jennylyn and Derek rightly won the Best Actress and Actor trophies that year, with debuting filmmaker Dan Villegas taking home the Best Director plum and Second Best Picture award for the Quantum Films Production.


And so this year, as the winning trio returns with “a much bolder and more mature big screen offering” titled “All of You,” everyone is paying attention.

More mature story for Jennylyn Mercado and Derek Ramsay for this year’s festival

This time a Quantum Films co-production with MJM Productions, “All of You” is a movie about a man and a woman with conflicting views on love and marriage.

Derek’s Gab and Jennylyn’s Gabby are a couple so in love that a serious commitment is clearly the next step in their relationship. But on their third year of being together, everything changes. A true sign of the times when people are marrying much later or not at all, Gab and Gabby encounter real-life realities that hinder the “natural progression” of a man and woman’s love into marriage.

According to Derek and Jennylyn, there are many situations in All of You they can each relate to, given their respective relationships. Derek has been dating a non-showbiz girlfriend for some time now, while Jennylyn and actor Dennis Trillo relationship is also going strong.

Sharing stellar billing with Derek and Jen are Solenn Heussaff, Rafael Rosell and Sam Milby.

Others in the cast are Yayo Aguila, Kean Cipriano, Nico Antonio, Sofia Antonio, Hannah Ledesma, Miio Elmido, Enzo Marcos, Kelvin Yu and Kate Alejandrino. “EOP” also earned for Direk Dan a best director plum while the movie was named as the festival’s second best picture.

Derek, 41, declared he is ready for marriage, but understands that his girlfriend, model Joanne Villablanca who is 17 years his junior, would still like to focus on her career, especially since she’s a single mother.

The tandem first won hearts in 2014’s ‘English Only Please’

“We’ve been going out for two years now and I’m ready. I’m at a point in my life where I can see the future being smooth sailing so it’s just about finding the right time for both of us,” he explained. “We all know that she’s a mom and she has a wonderful daughter and it feels like having a family already and I like it. The right time will come.”

Jennylyn on the other hand is in the same boat as Joanne as single mom to nine-year old Jazz [her son by ex-boyfriend Patrick Garcia], and is neither ready for marriage yet.

“Iba kapag may anak ka na, ‘yun talaga ang priority mo. Kailangan do’n muna,” she related. Luckily, Dennis understands her perfectly since he also a son from a previous relationship.

“Marami pa akong gustong ma-accomplish in my career and maliit pa rin yung anak ko so mas kailangan niya ko. [Dennis] and I, sa ngayon, nag-e-enjoy lang kami,” Jennylyn simply said, choosing as always to keep details about her relationship with Dennis as private as possible.

Given their similar situations—although on opposite ends—Derek and Jennylyn agree on one thing: That no one should ever rush into marriage because it is, and should always be, a life-long commitment.

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