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'Ang Babaeng Allergic Sa Wi-Fi' Doesn't Need A Signal To Connect With Its Audience
The cast delivers this unconventional romance with ease
by Emmanuel Calingacion | Aug 23, 2018
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Aries (Jameson Blake) is a certified nerd, loner, and anti-social-media hopeless romantic who is smitten with the bubbly wide-eyed Norma (Sue Ramirez). He doesn't have the gonads to tell her how he really feels, as most of these things go, and is happy admiring her from a distance. To his surprise and dismay, he learns that Norma already has a boyfriend who’s in the school’s basketball varsity team. It gets even worse when he finds out that this jock is coincidentally his own older brother, Leo (Markus Paterson).

But all of a sudden, Norma becomes very sick. Every test in every hospital comes out with the same normal results. But they learn that Norma has EHS or Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity syndrome. This means she’s allergic to phones, tablets, laptops, and most of all, Wi-Fi or plain signal alone. They retreat Norma to her grandmother’s house, which is around six hours away from the city to escape this unbelievable illness. There begins the journey to answer a very timely and relevant millennial question: Can love survive without technology?

Jameson Blake shows everyone why he’s an actor to watch for with his portrayal of the shy Aries. His torpe charm is the compelling force that drives the entire movie until the very last second of the end credits. He completely makes audiences root for his character from the very start, effectively delivering the kilig moments of the film. Which is why, when the most unimaginable thing happens, it's easy for people in the cinema to get their hearts broken. Sniffles everywhere.

Sue Ramirez has moviegoers in the palm of her hands with her unconventional beauty and undeniable talent in making audiences empathize with all the different emotions she conveys in front of the camera. Aside from her rare illness, she also deals with her best friend Margaux’s backstabbing, her mom’s second family, and her confusing relationship with the two brothers. Sue holds our hand and guides us through the movie’s various complexities and manages to make us understand and feel for her.

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Markus Paterson is fairly new to acting for the big screen—this is his first movie appearance since he joined a boy band contest in 2017. He tends to look a little stone-faced and stiff during the movie, especially during romantic moments with Sue. But his scenes with Jameson come off more naturally, like they are actual brothers in real life. His biggest highlight is towards the end of the film when the two brothers are in the car talking about their feelings for Norma.

Almost effortlessly, Angellie Saño steals the spotlight from the three main characters whenever she’s in the scene. She plays Aries’ quirky, spunky, fun-size tibo best friend, Macha. What she lacks in height, she makes up for with her uncontainable energy and knack for delivering the funniest lines of the film. More often than not, she's the voice of reason for Aries as well.

Jun Robles Lana, the writer-director of the film distinguishes Ang Babaeng Allergic Sa Wi-Fi from all the romantic comedies that have come before it. Some scenes and dialogue may come as a little cheesy and even cliche at times, but its insightful social commentary on today’s bittersweet era of technology and relationships remains clear and consistent. Add to that the enchanting voice of Keiko Necesario in the film’s soundtrack, and the picturesque cinematography, and it’s a film that’s pretty hard to match.

This movie delivers a timely message on the effects of living life through the technology that we deem as our bridge of connection to other people. We become so engulfed by the world on the screen that we forget the world that’s actually around us. It’s funny how this film makes you think about how you can connect with other people even when you don’t have a signal.

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