In 2010, Sam Milby topbilled an indie film about a Filipino-American balikbayan who has to deal with his painful past and move on so he can reach his dreams.
For his portrayal of Wesley in Third World Happy, Sam was nominated for the 34th Gawad Urian’s Best Actor Award.
He is joined in this film by Jodi Sta. Maria who is cast as the ex-girlfriend of Wesley.
Sam’s character is an aspiring painter who has been living in the United States for 13 years after the tragic death of his parents. He is asked to return to his homeland to attend the burial of a loved one.
Throughout his homecoming, the close friends of relatives of Wesley remind him of what life is truly all about. They also help him shine some light on his struggles back in the United States and his struggle to look at his loved one in the coffin, to finally say his last goodbye.
In the tradition of movies like Before Sunrise and Woody Allen films,
Third World Happy is a contemporary Filipino story that tackles the
inner struggles of our countrymen missing their homeland as they chase
elusive dreams in America and how those struggles compare with the
option of surviving in the third world.
Directed by EJ Salcedo and produced by Cinema One Originals, Third World Happy will be shown at SM Theaters from May 25-31, 2011.
Here is PEP’s capsule review on Third World Happy written by Fidel Antonio Medel:
"Third World Happy is a work of restraint. It could have easily opted to fill its scenes with cheesy and overly sappy lines, but it veered away from unnecessary sentimentality. Unlike other dramas, it leaves the audience trying to figure out what really happened.
"Why did Wes (Sam’s character) decide to cut his communication from his friends and ex-girlfriend? Why did he put his painting career on hold? And the most important question of all, does he have a son with Aylynn (Jodi’s character)?
"The script is rather inconsistent. Some lines verge on cliché and the comedic quips destroy the overall tone of the film.
"In the acting department, the movie belongs to Jodi as the docile ex-girlfriend. Her voice cracks at the perfect moment and we’re left with our hearts breaking."
(CLICK HERE to read PEP’s review on the other Cinema One entries)