Star Cinema’s upcoming summer offering titled Here Comes the Bride was originally intended for the 2008 Metro Manila Film Festival. Indie producer Atty. Joji Alonso and scriptwriter Chris Martinez, unfortunately, ran out of time to finish the project’s script.
"At that time Chris Martinez was very busy with 100, he was travelling all over the world kaya hindi niya naisulat ’yong script. Finally, late last year sabi niya he has time na kaya sinulat na nga niya," Atty. Alonso—who produced the critically-acclaimed indie film Kubrador—revealed in a press conference last April 29 at ABS-CBN’s Dolphy Theater in Quezon City.
"Mahirap buuin ’yong cast kasi masyadong naka-peg ’yong material. That’s the reason why I decided to look for partners para we can make it big because really the production budget here is really huge. So, medyo hindi kaya talaga kung ako lang mag-isa," said Atty. Alonzo.
Joining forces with Star Cinema in producing the comedy film are Quantum Films and OctoArts Films.
THE PLOT. Stefanie (Angelica Panganiban) is a beautiful, sweet and pampered bride-to-be who’s smitten with her rich boyfriend Harold (Tom Rodriguez). A solar eclipse occurs on the same date of Stefanie and Tom’s wedding day, triggering a high magnetic field on the road. The guests and the bride meet a freak car accident on their way to the beach venue, causing their souls to swap with one another.
Stefanie’s soul is transferred to Precy (Eugene Domingo), the ageing rich and outspoken lawyer who is still hoping to find a mate. Precy’s soul hops into Medelyn (Tuesday), the harassed yaya of the ring bearer who loves to bicker in Bisaya when stressed out. Medelyn becomes the bored grand patriarch of Harold’s family, Bien (Jaime Fabregas) who, in turn, is trapped in the body of the flamboyant makeup artist named Toffee (John Lapus). The only one who turns out to be lucky among the lot is Toffee, whose soul is captured inside the fresh, sexy body of Stefanie.
TOTAL RIOT. Body switching is, of course, not new in local and foreign films. But Here Comes the Bride upped the ante by using more than two individuals as main subjects.
"Naiiba siya kasi ’yong usual body-swap stories like ’yong Babe and Freaky Friday laging dalawa lang ’yong character. Dito very complex kasi lima sila but in the process sobrang hilarious," Atty. Alonso pointed out.
Despite being a comedy film, each of the stars had to immerse themselves deep into the traits and nuances of their respective swap mates.
"Ang daming pag-aaral na nangyari," revealed Tuesday. "Kumbaga tulungan kami kung ano na ’yong na-shoot sa character na tatalunan mo kailangan malaman mo ’yon para ma-adapt mo sa gagawin mo naman sa susunod pag ikaw na ’yon."
Angelica added, "Siyempre, bago po kami nagsimula nag-usap-usap kaming lahat kung paano ba namin gagawin. Inaral namin ’yong mga mannerisms, pinanood namin ’yong kilos nung bawat isa. The nung dumating kami sa set, siyempre kabado ka, medyo kinakalawang pa, although alam mo na ’yong mannerisms mo kaya lang mahirap siyempre i-interpret sa eksena.
"So kapag hirap ka na, ang ginagawa naman po ni Sweet [John Lapus] sa akin, papakita niya ’yong eksena then gagayahin ko na lang which is napakadali kasi nakita mo na. Ganun din si Uge [Eugene Domingo] kung ano na din ’yong mga nagawa niya isi-share din naman niya sa akin para mag-match."
It was an all-out team effort and Eugene revealed how all the main characters worked together to share inputs as guide to their characters.
"Si Direk Chris Martinez pinagsama niya ’yong mga magkaka-swap tapos naglista kami like, ’Ano sa tingin mo itong si Stefanie?’ ’Ikaw ano sa tingin mo si Precy?’... So nagkaroon kami ng character analysis and of course in the process lahat kami we supported each other. Maganda kasi lahat kami dito talagang supporting actors," offered Eugene.
All the hard work and fun produced great comic results, prompting Atty. Alonso to proudly describe the film as "Total riot and sobrang saya!"
Catch the summer comedy event of the year, Here Comes the Bride, showing on May 12 in cinemas nationwide. The film has been rated General Patronage by the Movie and Television and Review and Classification Board.
The premiere night will take place on May 11 at SM Megamall.