Carmela (Sharon Cuneta) was undergoing an annulment case from her husband of 36 years. To escape from her misery, she joined her goddaughter Chesca (Abby Bautista) and her wacky friends Jen (Rose Van Ginkel), Liz (Marion Aunor) and Beverly (Jobelyn Manuel) on their way to Stranded, three nights of drunken abandon at the beach.
When they learn of Carmela's problem, the girls made it their project to make her recover her youthful verve or "revirginized," especially when she was smitten by tattoo artist Morph (Marco Gumabao).
The trailer of this new Sharon Cuneta film gained millions of views, especially for those shocking scenes of prim and proper Ate Shawie uttering profanity and graphic sexual terms. Yes, admittedly that aspect of the film is undeniably attention-getting, and really a great marketing strategy, as evidenced by the advanced ticket sales. There was not much more of that cute vulgarity from Cuneta anymore — what you see in the trailer was it already. However, there was so much more substance for audiences to savor in the rest of the film.
Megastar Cuneta definitely grabbed this greasy bull of a character by the horns full on. Now that you've seen this film with her as Carmela, she was so right for the role such that it would be difficult to imagine any other actress in this role. She gamely fulfilled all the required shenanigans expected from a Darryl Yap heroine, and her goody-two-shoes reputation made the comedy all the more precious. Her cutest sequence for me would be that one she was talking to the baby tortoise as Morph caught her in a most mortifying situation.
As Morph, Marco Gumabao also gave this role all his carefree charm, especially in his passionate scenes of life-coaching and motivation. Odd couple as it may sound on paper, he and Cuneta did have screen chemistry, so you would actually root for Morph and Carmela to hook up as couple.
We see several famous names in the opening credits, but they were in short, practically cameo roles. Albert Martinez, Cristina Gonzales, Ogie Diaz and Rosanna Roces were only seen in the opening sequence, and Kylie Versoza was at the very end.
As shown in the trailer, there were several scenes of rave party on a beach with supposed teenagers (they look more like millennials) engaging in various activities of hedonistic inebriation. While chaotic and nihilistic events like these really happen, these scenes just went on a bit too long, too noisy for me. The young people here were shown to be rude and obscene, not exactly the company I'd imagine my Gen Z kids to be with. To be fair, Yap tried to balance this mischief with some responsible behavior the morning after.
Darryl Yap had been known for the controversies surrounding his brazen films rather than for his writing or directing. This time, I felt he had outdone himself with this screenplay that tackling such serious themes of teenage pregnancy, rocky marriage and deep regrets with sensible language that speaks clearly to his middle-aged audience, and meaningful metaphors of pawikan and butterflies to make his point.
Credits also to the production team for using three vintage Volkswagen vehicles and Dorina Pineda's "Bituing Walang Ningning" circa 1987 hair and dress for some amusing nostalgia.
This review was originally published in the author's blog, "Fred Said."
Credit belongs to : news.abs-cbn.com/