September 25, 2023 | 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines — Loveteams normally bring out the thrill and excitement from the audience when they appear together on the big screen. Knowing that a pair has done successful films in the past, it is a given that they easily project their chemistry once they are together.
Yassi Pressman and Ruru Madrid were paired for the first time in the time travel love story, Video City, a joint production of Viva Films and GMA Films. Yet, their first-time partnership proved to be a winning combination.
The two stars never worked together in the past, but surprisingly, they hit it off in Video City, an unusual romance that happens nearly three decades apart.
Back in the day when films were seen on VHS format and can be rented out in outlets like Video City, people went out of their way to secure their copies in the branches nearest to them.
Definitely an escapist film, Video City had Yassi and Ruru playing star-crossed lovers a generation apart. She was a probinsyana (Ningning), the daughter of Dominador and Neneng Magtulis of Masbate, who left her province to find her luck in Manila.
Meanwhile, he was a film student (Han Peña) who got transported to 1995 after he discovered a magical rewinder. He was working on his thesis but couldn’t seem to find the inspiration he needed to finish it.
He is also the son of a renowned filmmaker, Anita Laurel, played by Suzette Ranillo. She had very few speaking lines, as she was already sick in the latter part, but she stood out in the flashback scene. Han was shown meeting her mom in a conference where she gave an inspiring talk about her films.
From the minute they met each other in that video store, where Han insisted he was from the future and Ningning would not believe her, Ruru and Yassi instantly clicked on the big screen and their chemistry was undeniable.
They brought out the thrills in their scenes together. No lip-locking scenes needed. Only big screen romance that transported to the audience and gave the latter a feel-good connection with the leads.
Video City also brought out nostalgic reminiscences of the film snippets featured throughout the run, like Maging Sino Ka Man and Bituing Walang Ningning with Sharon Cuneta, Baby Tsina with Vilma Santos.
Written and directed by Rainier Brizuela, Video City went a step farther to bring audiences to a time-travel love story.
Providing the laughs were Chad Kinis and TJ Valderama, who played Yassi’s co-workers in Video City, while Dennis Padilla was the present-day attendant in a different store.
In the past, Yassi played supporting parts in many of her big screen projects. But she bided her time and waited for her big break. In 2021, she was paired with JC Santos in Nuel Naval’s romance-drama, More Than Blue.
“It has been such a great relationship, me and Viva,” Yassi asserted. “They helped me grow into the actress, the woman or the performer that I am now by giving me advice when I was way younger.
“Now, I’m very happy where I am going and I’m excited to see where our relationship takes us. It has been amazing. I’m very thankful to Viva.”
The recent star-studded premiere night had a lot of celebrities who showed their support to the lead stars. Bianca Umali was in attendance to support her boyfriend Ruru. Yassi’s sister, Issa, was also present.
Others who graced the screening were Rayver and Rodjun Cruz, directors Easy Ferrer, Mikhail Red and Jeffrey Hidalgo, showbiz couple Kim Molina and Jerald Napoles, Glaiza de Castro and Ruru’s sisters, Rara and Rere Madrid, among others.