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an excerpt from an article by Nestor U. Torre, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 15 November 1998, p. B9

Some years ago, movie producers had had it with love teams. Declining patronage of their movies suggested that viewers had gotten fed up with concocted screen romances, and preferred less fantasticating fare.

However, the success of the Judy Ann Santos - Wowie de Guzman and Jolina Magdangal - Marvin Agustin team-ups has revived producers' interest in love teams, hence their current haste in launching new romantic tandems.

Producers with tie-ups with TV stations have an easier time of it. They introduce new team-ups on TV shows, keep tabs on audience feedback and the so-called "kilig response," and concentrate on the more popular tandems, putting them in teenybopper films to further boost their poularity.

The scheme has worked so well that love teams are among the few performers whose films make money these days. Even as some superstars testily wait for new offers that don't come, young love teams make one film after another.

This is because love-team vehicles are generally much less expensive to produce than superstar showcases. Also, young viewers have increased in number and power, and they make up the bulk of the huge audience that supports the love-team trend.

Recently, Viva Films announced the production of a movie topbilling the young love teams in the weekly drama, "Anna Karenina." The film "Honey, My Love, So Sweet," fields three new team-ups: Antoinette Taus - Dingdong Dantes, Sunshine Dizon - Polo Ravales and Kim delos Santos - Dino Guevarra.

You can bet that, when the movie is shown, Viva executives will be keeping close tabs on audience reaction to each of the three pairs. The most popular pair could then be given a movie of its own, and Viva could discover a new goldmine to keep it in clover through the new millenium.

Which love team will that be? On point of beauty, Kim delos Santos is a standout, but her team-up with Polo Ravales still feels awkward and skittish. The pair that looks ready for movie stardom is Antoinette Taus and Dingdong Dantes.

Some words of caution, however: Antoinette appears to be wearing too much makeup for her tender years, and that could distract from her natural teen-age good looks. And Dingdong needs to work more on his "accessibility" - he tends to look distant and arch.