SISTERHOOD. Mary Jane (Toni Gonzaga) and Mary Anne's (Alex Gonzaga) relationship gets tested in 'Mary, Marry Me.' All screenshots from YouTube/Pelikula Mania Trailers

RC Delos Reyes’ Mary, Marry Me resembles a faulty marriage.

It’s all cute and dandy for the first few months, but as soon as all the problems start creeping out of the closet, staying with it becomes an absolute chore.

Bizarre on paper

The film is lovely at first, as it briskly details the sisterly bond between Mary Jane (Toni Gonzaga) and Mary Anne (Alex Gonzaga), who are abruptly separated after their parents are killed in a car accident, forcing Mary Jane to send Mary Anne to live with their aunt in the United States. The two reunite under the unlikeliest of circumstances, with Mary Jane serving as wedding planner to Mary Anne’s upcoming marriage to Pete (Sam Milby), who happens to be Mary Jane’s ex-boyfriend.

Its premise may look delightfully bizarre on paper. However, given that screenwriters Mika Garcia-Lagman and Juvy Galamiton had to make do with what feels like a draft, the premise actually exposes a glaring vice of most films being produced today — relying on intriguing premises rather than solid storytelling.

The casting of the Gonzaga sisters and Milby actually opens up a very golden opportunity for the film to merge real life, pop culture with its ridiculous story of sisters feuding for love.

There is some attempt to draw delights from the past. In the middle of the film, Toni Gonzaga and Milby start to sing the titular anthem from Cathy Garcia-Molina’s You Are the One (2006), which is arguably their best rom-com together.

However, instead of complementing the film, the reminder of Gonzaga and Milby’s past as onscreen partners only expose how absolutely flimsy the attempts of Mary, Marry Me to create ample chemistry out of its characters.

REUNION. Toni Gonzaga and Sam Milby reunite in the movie after many years since their first project.

Lasting disappointment

Mary, Marry Me is the prime example of a film that has all the right elements in place but ultimately fails to make any other impact than lasting disappointment.

The film recruits capable comedians like Bayani Agbayani, Melai Cantiveros and Moi Bien to serve as comic relief. However, their quips only add to the noise that the film seems to be reveling in. It’s just too loud a film, with both Gonzagas bursting with uncontrolled energy, screaming and screeching alongside everybody else. Director Delos Reyes is incapable of restraining his performers, with his film ultimately suffering from being just too chaotic for comfort.

What’s worse is that for a film that pits family against love, Mary, Marry Me feels emotionally inept. It just seems so conveniently plotted, with confrontations happening without rhyme or reason, and forgiveness being granted with just a teary-eyed conversation. The film’s resolutions, mirthful and pleasant as they are, are all unearned.

Rushed to completion

Mary, Marry Me is a very wrong engagement.

This is a film that could have benefited from not being rushed to completion. All the foundations of a vibrant crowdpleaser are present. However, those foundations are laid to waste by the wild scramble to meet festival schedules. –


Francis Joseph Cruz litigates for a living and writes about cinema for fun. The first Filipino movie he saw in the theaters was Carlo J. Caparas' Tirad Pass.

Since then, he's been on a mission to find better memories with Philippine cinema.



Source: Rappler

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