‘Mary, Marry Me’ review: Fun-filled with love and rivalry

RC delos Reyes puts up the tandem of Gonzaga sisters in a feel-good family film this MMFF 2018 through Mary, Marry Me.

‘Mary, Marry Me’ is all about family and sisterhood. It tells the story of Mary Jane (Toni Gonzaga), and her younger sister Mary Anne (Alex) who is set to marry the former’s ex-boyfriend, Pete (Sam Milby). Despite the initial hesitation, Mary Jane’s commitment to make up to her sister has enabled her to set aside her uneasiness with her ex-boyfriend as she agrees to plan their wedding. With all set for the wedding, Mary Jane has to face everything in spite of her own hesitations, while facing her own issues with her sister.

Metro Manila Film Festival 2018 is finally here and ‘Mary, Marry, Me’ brings a lot of fun, love, and sisterly rivalry—bound to touch the hearts of families this Christmas. The film brings real-life sisters Toni and Alex Gonzaga in their first movie together. After being visible in guestings, endorsements and TV projects in the past, Toni and Alex are now seen on the big screen. The Gonzaga siblings made their long-time dream come true and give it away to people this Christmas. The product is shy of any disappointment since they really have the chemistry.

Alex Gonzaga, Sam Milby, and Toni Gonzaga in the romantic comedy film MARY, MARRY ME.

The overall feel of the movie is pleasing to the senses. Its engaging mix of humor and drama makes it easy to take while concentrating on the values of family. It is emotionally heartfelt through and through.

The cast makes the film extra special. There’s the reunion of the blockbuster Sam-Tin tandem after 10 years (‘My Big Love’). Without spoiling, Sam and Toni have brought ‘kilig’ again to their legions of fans throughout the film. (It was also during those lovely moments in the movie that the fans who attended the premiere night were cheering the most.) ‘Mary, Marry Me’ is brave enough to present a more mature loveteam, anchored by an ever-versatile Alex Gonzaga. With the support of reliable comedians like Bayani Agbayani, Moi Bien and Melai Cantiveros, laugh-out-loud banters are all around to supplement laughter to the audience.

‘Mary, Marry Me’ is a film to look out for at this year’s MMFF. It touches the heart of the Filipino family and it would make you fall in love with yours more.

5 out of 5 stars

Mary, Marry Me is produced by TINCANp under Ten17p. Directed by RC delos Reyes. Starring Toni Gonzaga, Alex Gonzaga and Sam Milby, with Bayani Agbayani, Moi Bien and Melai Cantiveros. Opens December 25 in PH cinemas.

WATCH: Angel, Zanjoe, Sam star in gay rom-com ‘The Third Party’

Star Cinema has just released last night the teaser trailer and the official movie poster for its light romantic drama film “The Third Party” top-billed by Angel Locsin, Zanjoe Marudo, and Sam Milby, and directed by one of today’s most in-demand directors Jason Paul Laxamana.

“The Third Party” tackles a modern love triangle involving an aspiring fashion designer Andi (Angel Locsin), her cosmetic surgeon best friend Max (Sam Milby), and Christian (Zanjoe Marudo), an oncologist for kids.


Opening across the Philippines on October 12, 2016, “The Third Party” is released and distributed by ABS-CBN Film Productions, Inc.

Also starring Cherry Pie Picache, Alma Moreno, Matet De Leon, Al Tantay, Carla Martinez, Odette Khan, Beauty Gonzales, Maris Racal, Katrina Legaspi, Chun Sa Jung.

MOVIE REVIEW: The PreNup (2015)

THE PRENUP by Jun Robles Lana
Starring Jennylyn Mercado and Sam Milby
Reviewed at the red carpet premiere at SM Megamall

The PreNup follows an expected love story that blossoms when Jennylyn Mercado’s Wendy and Sam Milby’s Sean meet on an airplane en route to New York (by the way, this is not That Thing Called Tadhana). Just like in your usual romantic movies, they have a rough start in a traffic encounter going to the airport but swiftly become comfortable with each other to the point of Sean offering a hand to Wendy by letting her stay in his place for quite some time. In a matter of days, they decide to get married.

In the same manner that the two main characters have a rough beginning, the first act of the movie appears to be problematic in establishing (a good excuse to) the romance between Wendy and Sean. There is not enough character development, not to mention sparks–that sensational comfort that yes they are in love–all despite the allotted time. There are other stories where we already witnessed a good tandem of an English-speaking guy and an easygoing girl speaking in the vernacular. Hearing their exchanges of lines can be lovely at times, but largely uncomfortable with her street slang seemingly fine in his uptown ears.

It feels like the second act is where the story actually begins. Perhaps, this is the way it was conceived with the idea of having the conventionally huge meet-the-parents scene where socioeconomical strata is such a big deal. With more characters having their own spotlights, The PreNup then heads on to being extremely loud with much of the focus being lost along the way. Gardo Versoza and Dominic Ochoa have to be commended for their excellent portrayals as the gay foster parents of Wendy. Melai Cantiveros plays a goofy adopted sister to Wendy, alongside a boyish Ella Cruz sans the twerking. Another highlight is Jaclyn Jose’s take as the oppressive mother of two (Sean and Neil Coleta’s Boom) and a perfect pair to Freddy Webb’s fatherly figure.

the prenup sam milby jennylyn mercado

What saves The PreNup’s deficiency in storytelling is Jun Robles Lana’s powerful direction. In the midst of each character being too absorbed in their individual dilemmas, Lana is able to let them float their own boats. On the flip side, everyone turns out to be too busy with the rest of the story as the last act unfolds.

With a stylish stroke that relishes the lush of Central Park and the busy streets of New York City as essential parts of the story, cinematographer Carlo Mendoza is able to consistently give the vibrance needed to establish a feel-good atmosphere. Frames after frames are painted with visually striking colors that make them easy to watch, coupled with neat production designs by Sarah Edwards and Ericson Navarro apparent in Wendy’s house in Manila and in Sam’s apartment in New York.

After the success of English Only, Please that can largely be attributed to Mercado’s memorable performance, it can’t be helped but to expect something as big as, if not bigger than, what she has already done. It is as if there is nothing else to prove with regard to her versatility as an actress. While it shares the romantic comedy genre with EOP, The PreNup makes her shine even brighter with quirkier monologues and more comfortable gestures and expressions. Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” could have been utilized further but there seems to be much restraint on it as a catchy soundtrack.

It would have been lovelier to see The PreNup with a more solid story but what we have at hand is reasonable–only with Jennylyn Mercado’s effective acting and indispensable charm–as everything else goes downhill.

The Prenup movie poster