“LOVE, like a diamond, is ageless.”

Repertory Philippines closes its 65th season with a touching romantic comedy between a 40-year-old woman and a 22-year-old young man in Forty Carats.

Ann Stanley (Joy Virata) is a 40-year-old divorcee living with her mother Maud Hayes (Jay Valencia-Glorioso) and 17-year-old daughter Trina (Jenny Jamora) in New York. Her life is basically a routine between work and home with occasional dealings with ex-husband Billy Boylan (Miguel Faustman). This changes when Peter Latham (Arnel Carrion), a young fling she had while having a vacation in Greece, suddenly appears at her doorstep to date Trina. With the attraction between them still undeniably strong, Peter tries to persuade Ann to give their relationship a chance. To further complicate things, Ann’s 45-year-old client Eddy Edwards (Rem Zamora), turns out to be in love with Trina.

Played by the usual cast of Rep’s seasoned actors plus a marvelous set, script, and direction by Baby Barredo, Forty Carats is a charming addition to the numerous successful comedies produced by Repertory. There are a lot of highly entertaining funny moments and the entire cast all gave wonderful convincing portrayals.

The story however, has one disappointing aspect that diminishes the quality of this play.

A close look at the narrative will show that there are certain situations that don’t quite ring true. For example, what are the odds that a young, handsome man of 22 will genuinely propose marriage to a divorced woman almost double his age? Or that his mother will agree with it? How about the convenient way Trina reciprocates Eddy’s feelings? Therefore leaving Peter and Ann free to love each other without complications.

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May-December romances are common situations in the real world. But what makes Forty Carats unrealistic is the way everything easily seems to fall into place. For all its caustic dialogue and modern-day disguise, Forty Carats is nothing more than a nice but impossible fairy tale. Ma. Stephanie R. Hilario

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