My favorite scene in JP Habac’s I’m Drunk, I Love You was when Dio (Paulo Avelino) started talking about his insecurities as an aspiring filmmaker, comparing himself with batch mates that were already featured in Young Star. The sound of frustration in Dio’s words clearly established the weight and meaning of it, especially if you’re a young Filipino artist. Carson (Maja Salvador), being the super best friend that she is, immediately turns it into a joke and tells Dio, “Mas bagay ka kasi sa Abante.”
The thing is, I know exactly how Dio feels towards Young Star. The same way I also know how Carson feels towards Dio. Both romantic, both juvenile and silly. I’m Drunk I Love You made me realise, GRADUATE NA TALAGA AKO SA DALAWANG ISSUE NA ‘YAN. But who am I to judge Dio and Carson, they needed to go through those yearnings so they could grow up.
Quirks and Intimacy
Watching I’m Drunk, I Love You felt like tagging along with Carson, Dio and Jason Ty. Fine, isama na natin si Pathy. It was entertaining and funny. The little frienship traditions were engaging — their common love for cheap alcohol and Peter’s Butterball, the love for OPM and the iPod game, and of course, the unparalleled fondness for Bagnet. Although I knew about the quirks, for some reason, I didn’t feel the intimate with Carson and Dio. I felt I was seeing the movie only through Carson’s limited point of view.
I wish I knew why Carson loves Dio so much — beyond Dio being good looking and talented. I wish I knew why Dio suddenly wanted to take up law, even without him explaining it Carson. It can be just between him and me (as the audience). I wish I knew little extra about Pathy, not just about the extra H in her name. Why did Pathy and Dio break up? What did Dio like about Pathy? But Jason Ty definitely felt like a real best friend to me.
Old Trope, New Focus
I’m Drunk, I Love You’s premise is not new. In fact, it utilises a romcom trope that has been recycled for so many years — Reality Bites, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Labs Kita Okey Ka Lang, Close To You, She’s The One — I think I’ve seen most of them. (Obviously, it’s my favorite trope.)
But I’m Drunk, I Love You gives it a fresh take by shifting the focus from the epic goal of winning the guy to the simple task of getting the emotion out of the f*cking way. When Carson admitted her feelings to Dio, it felt at first like a drunken declaration of love. But when she pulled away from Dio’s kisses, she proved to be emotionally sober. Carson knew they were kisses of consolation. (Sabi nga ni Jeff Buckley, “Kiss me out of desire, not out of consolation.”)
“Huwag kang mag-sorry. Hindi mo kasalanan na hindi mo ako mahal.” Carson told Dio the day after the eventful night.
I’m Drunk, I Love You was not a love story. It was about finally moving forward. And it starts with a making a decision, which ultimately is empowering. In the last scene of the movie, I cried. No, it’s not when Sugarfree’s Burnout started to play. It was when Carson broke into laughter, leaving Dio completely clueless about it. At that moment, I knew she made a decision — to continue being Dio’s best friend, sans the pining and hoping. Carson finally realised that her life, her happiness, is up to her. Carson decided to grow up.