Three reasons why I watched this musical film by the über-talented Chris Martinez: Eugene Domingo, Sam Concepcion, and the Apo Hiking Society (in no particular order).
No explanation needed for Eugene Domingo. As an actress/comedienne, she’s in a league of her own and I’m a fan. As for Sam Concepcion, it was really just curiosity. I make no time for those talent searches or song and dance shows on television, thus I have not seen any of his TV or stage outings. So what is his main draw for me? Some friends and relatives say my son JV is a Sam Concepcion look-alike.
After watching the movie, I wished JV could sing and dance like this cute guy Sam ;-).
This musical-comedy film makes no pretensions. It is the Filipino version of Mamma Mia, the ABBA-inspired movie that became a big hit in 2008. But this Pinoy take, to my mind, is even better than the original. The poor boy-rich girl formulaic plot is richly textured with the timeless songs of the Apo Hiking Society. And I don’t remember any Apo tune that I didn’t like.
All 17 songs in the soundtrack are—in street speak—swak na swak; but some, when used to highlight three different emotional stages of love, are impeccable choices. Batang Bata Ka Pa and Panalangin aptly lyricize the young and impulsive love between Sam and Tippy. Tuyo Na’ng Damdamin captures the jaded love that is threatening the marriage of Gary and Zsa Zsa. Di Na Natuto is the perfect piece to vamp up the hyped bold scene between Ogie and Eugene in one lustful and vulnerable moment of love (as in unprotected and walang kalaban-laban :-)). I didn’t know what to think of this one crazy scene, but it certainly made me lose my poise. I let out not just a chuckle, but a full-bodied guffaw.
Chris Martinez, you had me at Kimmy Dora, and I’ll watch the next film that you’ll write and direct. Another Eugene Domingo feature will be great, but I Do Bidoo Bidoo Part 2 will be a huge treat.