Eugene Domingo (in both photos) made very effective character shifts in her launching film Kimmy Dora: Kambal sa Kiyeme. This comedy, which tells the story of an uptight executive named Kimmy (left) and her sweet twin sister Dora, will open in cinemas starting September 2.
Photo: Courtesy of Spring Films
Domingo has her own brand of humor. She can be hilarious without
going slapstick and without the benefit of a funny face. She's that
rare comedy star who's able to elicit laughter simply by changing her voice inflection or by easily shifting her facial expression.
Bb. Joyce Bernal's
Kimmy Dora: Kambal sa Kiyeme is
meant to be Eugene's launching as a comedy star. With the help of big stars in supporting
roles and a slew of talents doing cameo roles, the movie
is expected to be her big break, perhaps the way Tanging Ina did for Ai-Ai de las Alas.
is talented, no doubt. Her academic training in theater at the
University of the Philippines gave her that characteristic wit and
funny sarcasm at times. Her star shines faintly but steadily. Regine
Velasquez, Rufa Mae Quinto, Marvin Agustin, Vhong Navarro, Aiza
Seguerra, Piolo Pascual, Christian Bautista, Erik Santos, Mark
Bautista, and Sam Milby (among others) are there to lure people to the box office.
Kimmy Dora is simple story of sibling
rivalry gone awry. Uge plays the roles of twin sisters Kimmy Go Dong
Hae, the hardworking dragon lady CEO of Go Dong Hei Group of
Companies; and Dora, the sweet sibling who, despite being
dimwitted, has captured the affections of their father, Don Luisito Go
Dong Hae (Ariel Ureta) and snagged the love of Johnson (Dingdong
Dantes), the hunky company executive who has been rejecting Kimmy's
One day, Don Luisito suffers a heart attack. Fearing that he might not survive, he draws up a will leaving most of the family's estate to Dora who he feels cannot make it on her
own, unlike Kimmy. Saddened by her father's decision, Kimmy consults Harrison (Baron Geisler), the sneaky company lawyer, who tries
to convince her she's not getting her fair share of the family
wealth. A badly timed phone call to Harris causes a series of twisted, hilarious events.
The first half of the movie drags on
like an overly illustrated children's book. But hold on, it gets
On the whole, Uge is that funny factor
in the movie. The situations are hilarious only because Uge executes
them well. She made very effective character shifts, making sure that
even in scenes where Kimmy is pretending to be Dora, and vice versa,
she does not lose the identity of her dysfunctional characters.
other characters are interesting, too. There's Kimmy's overworked and
unappreciated assistant cum punching bag Gertrude (Miriam Quiambao)
who cries at the slightest show of kindness, and Barry (Zanjoe
Marudo), the muscular farmer who is able to tame the domineering nature of Kimmy.
Kimmy Dora may be star-studded but it takes more to make it a really good movie. It offers entertainment, plain and
simple. As the head of a company, Kimmy power-dresses and
does power trips. She scares the employees a la Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) in The
Devil Wears Prada and fires an
employee for wearing the same dress as hers. In board meetings, they
talk in sweeping generalities to get investors from every corner of the planet,
as if there were no
ongoing financial crisis in the real world.
But then, the whole point of the movie is to show off Eugene in the role we've never
seen her before. And for the sake of a good laugh, it works.
I understand the need for shallow plots, imaginary worlds,
and slapstick humor but I also feel that even fanciful comedies should at least try to
move within the limits of the real world. Just because it is make
believe does not mean it is full-on fantasy.
That's why I do not understand why a
Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit—an elite tactical unit in
the police force specializing in high risk operations such as high
tension hostage crises, counter terrorism missions, and serving high
risk arrest warrants—were dispatched to settle a unarmed cat fight
between disgruntled sisters, even if they happen to be daughters of a
business tycoon. In that roof top scene, a team of snipers, complete
with high-precision rifles, surround Kimmy and Dora in an open-fire
position, which is weird because snipers normally hide to bring down
their highly dangerous targets efficiently.
The story behind Dora's mental retardation was hilariously executed; I actually snorted while laughing. But when you really
think about it, you ask yourself if it is even medically possible for twins to be born days apart.
So it goes down to the fact that you
will watch Kimmy Dora to laugh and not really to pick up
anything new. So laugh, cry, and do not think so much. Just enjoy it.
Kimmy Dora: Kambal sa Kiyeme, produced
by Spring Films, hits theaters on September 2. It is
rated PG-13 by the Movie and Television Review and Classification