Jennylyn Mercado may have very well found her niche in the movies. I have watched most of her films and before English Only, Please, I have recalled of her underutilized talent via Rosario, a Metro Manila Film Festival entry from a few years back.
She has won an award in English Only, Please. Now, I am no expert in the acting industry, but I felt like what sealed the deal for her was how natural she acted her character.
And that same thing happened in Regal Films’ latest romantic comedy film The PreNup, starring Mercado alongside Sam Milby and directed by Jun Robles Lana (who previously directed films such as Bwakaw and The Barber’s Tales).
The film showed a lot of promise in the first half of the movie and while its fast-paced plot may be faulted by some, but it was carried very well by the two lead actors.
With the cinematic busy city of New York as the background, it actually felt natural how Mercado’s and Milby’s characters fell for each other.
Where the movie started feeling flat was when they went back to the Philippines for their wedding.
I got a feeling that the writers were so inspired writing the US part of the movie and came up with witty lines and banters between the two lead characters. And somehow, they left all that wit and creativity in the Big Apple. None of that snappy albeit cheesy lines were present in the latter part of the film. I even heard someone inside the cinema that the lines were baduy.
It also did not help that there were a lot of unnecessary comedic scenes. And unfortunately, most of them were not even funny. Jaclyn Jose as the stereotypical overprotective, rich mother of Milby and Melai Cantiveros as the jaded sister of Mercado were both over acting and it got annoying quite easily.
Mercado’s character was surrounded by gay characters, which could’ve been portrayed by more convincing actors. Most of the time, they were two stiff and “macho” (for the lack of a better term) for the supposedly type of gay men they portray that their acts came of as some sort of mockery.
The movie also fell to the formulaic ending of Filipino mainstream romcoms. And it felt like the director just wanted the film to end already, getting rid of at least the kilig a romcom movie is supposed to make its audience feel.
Indeed, the movies strongest trait is its lead actors, and thankfully, their performances were enough for the audience to enjoy the film overall.