REVIEW: Maja Salvador shines, Jinggoy Estrada fumbles in Ang Tatay Kong Sexy

by Mari-An Santos
May 31, 2016
Ang Tatay Kong Sexy, topbilled by Maja Salvador and Jinggoy Estrada, will open in Philippine cinemas on June 1, 2016.

In Ang Tatay Kong Sexy, Jinggoy Estrada plays Kit, a family patriarch who is raising his three children on his own, as his wife passed away five years prior.

Empress Schuck is the eldest and unica hija Mariel; followed by (Jinggoy’s real-life son) Jolo Estrada as Franky; and Maliksi Morales as Kennedy.

Maja Salvador (as Monette) crashes into their lives when she complains about steep fees at the machine shop that Jinggoy owns, where she has brought her car to be repaired. She and Kit strike up a unique friendship that people in his life begin to question.

Bayani Agbayani as Kit’s brother and Rolando Inocencio as the shop manager, provide support. Both actors deliver tempered performances that showcase their comedic talent.

Ang Tatay Kong Sexy has a simple story of a middle-class widower trying to be both mother and father to his children. He has to deal with the oldest coming of age, and his overprotectiveness; a middle child who barely makes it through school and is starting to explore his sexuality; and a young son. The characters feel like they could be people from real life, nothing so special, but also unique. But is it a story that should have been made into a movie? It could very well just be an episode of a television show or a movie made for television.

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Jinggoy does not do well with his lines and the empathy the audience feels for him is drawn from how his co-stars react and interact with his character. Some choice jokes and punchlines stumble out of his mouth and lose some of their impact.

Jolo seems to have a perpetual smirk on his face and thus, his range of emotions is limited.

Dominic Roque who is cast as Patrick, Mariel’s love interest, shows some promise beyond his awkward pa-cuteness.

The women shine in this movie. Maja Salvador is effervescent as the smooth and fast-talking Monette. She has long, wordy lines that require impeccable comic timing and she delivers the punch every time. This is a refreshing break from her usual drama and sexy roles.

Empress Schuck, on the other hand, gives a powerful and appropriate portrayal of a young girl on the verge. She shares the screen well with leading man Dominic Roque and with screen father Jinggoy. She does better in the more serious scenes, making the audience feel her pain and frustration over the seeming inability of Kit and Patrick to get along—only on the basis of the father’s overprotective nature.

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Back to the actresses. Vangie Labalan is just the right amount of doting and funny as Kit’s mother. Beauty Gonzales, as Mariel’s best friend Thea, is a natural, never going over the top in her portrayal. Erlinda Villalobos, in a minor role as one of the household help, leaves a strong impression of a mother figure to her wards. Even Marina Benipayo, who plays Patrick’s mother, comes out naturally. She does not give in to the temptation to act in the “evil stepmother” mold.

The story of Ang Tatay Kong Sexy is simple but director Jose Javier Reyes (who also penned the script) makes sure to reign in his cast to ensure a generally GP movie with portrayals that are natural and, most importantly, not annoying. This is an ensemble piece that is quiet and low-key, but well-orchestrated. Even the ending is pleasant, defining it as something that could be a slice-of-life.

It is a feel-good movie that can very well pass for a Father’s Day diversion.

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Ang Tatay Kong Sexy opens on June 1, 2016.

Ed's Note: The "PEP Review" section carries the views of individual reviewers, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the PEP editorial staff.

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Ang Tatay Kong Sexy, topbilled by Maja Salvador and Jinggoy Estrada, will open in Philippine cinemas on June 1, 2016.
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