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Family Matters very relatable; cast delivers solid performance

by Mark Angelo Ching
Dec 29, 2022
Liza Lorena and Noel Trinidad in Family Matters
Liza Lorena and Noel Trinidad play Eleanor and Francisco, respectively, in the Metro Manila Film Festival 2022 entry Family Matters.
PHOTO/S: Screen Grab from Family Matters trailer on YouTube

The dynamics of a Filipino family are successfully portrayed in the film Family Matters, an entry in Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) 2022.

The film tells the story of an elderly couple who have been together for decades and remain very affectionate, and their four children who are so inspired by their parents' love that they hide the tensions brewing among them. But until when can they pretend, and can their parents help them fix their problems?

Director Nuel Naval perfectly punctuates the melodrama with humor, making the movie entertaining overall.

plot and characters

Family Matters begins with four adult siblings rushing to a hospital. Their geriatric father Francisco (Noel Trinidad) has a medical emergency, and they all have to visit to check if he and their mother Eleanor (Liza Lorena) are okay.

The eldest son Kiko (Nonie Buencamino) is a rich, successful, hot-headed engineer. He lives in a mansion with his wife Odette (Agot Isidro) and their three children, the eldest of which is Francis (Ian Pangilinan), a college student who yearns for the attention of his busy dad.

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The second child is Fortune (Mylene Dizon). She owns a pet grooming salon with her husband Nelson (James Blanco), and they have three young children. They are constantly on edge because of their unstable financial situation—something that gives Kiko a reason to look down on them.

The third child Ellen (Nikki Valdez) is still unmarried, so the duty of taking care of their parents has fallen to her. She still has dreams of having her own family, but she has to set these dreams aside for her parents.

The youngest child is Enrico (JC Santos), who has one daughter with an ex-wife (Ina Feleo), and now lives with Irene (Ana Luna). Because he has a broken family, some of his siblings see him as a failure.

picture of a filipino family

Family Matters' story is very relatable.

The movie encapsulates how every Filipino family may have its own problems and not everyone gets along, but family members are still able to joke around and laugh together.

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It has its share of light moments and tear-jerking scenes, with the film's ensemble cast, from the main players to even the child actors, all giving solid performances.

Delivering a particularly surprising and stand-out performance is Ian Pangilinan, who shines in his supporting role. A shocking fight scene allows Ian to show off his acting chops, and he makes his mark as one of today's most promising young actors.

Praise must also be given to the movie’s production staff for making the film look beautiful on screen.

In particular, the cinematography and set design succeed in establishing the relationships between the different families. The family’s ancestral house looks welcoming, the mansion where Kiko’s family lives looks ostentatious but lacking warmth, and the houses of both Fortune and Enrico look cramped but loving and hospitable.

The only drawback for this writer is its very long running time, 2 hours and 12 minutes. Toward the end, after the film is able to make its point, it becomes hard to see how the length is justifiable.

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All in all, Family Matters is a must-watch for all families looking to catch this year's MMFF.

The PEP REVIEW section carries the views of individual reviewers, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the PEP editorial team.
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Liza Lorena and Noel Trinidad play Eleanor and Francisco, respectively, in the Metro Manila Film Festival 2022 entry Family Matters.
PHOTO/S: Screen Grab from Family Matters trailer on YouTube
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