Expensive new comedy film, superior ensemble acting

March 31, 2023 Mario Bautista 378 views

Bride1Bride2HERE Comes the Bride’, a body and soul switch comedy written and directed by Chris Martinez, was a big blockbuster in 2010. Now, 13 years later, he finally comes up with a new movie, “Here Comes the Groom”, an official entry in the Summer Metro Manila Filmfest that starts showing in theaters on April 8, Black Saturday.

Produced by Quantum Films, Cineko and Brightlight Productions, it’s about a family on their way to the wedding of their son. While a solar eclipse takes place and they are cruising in a magnetic field, their car hits a van carrying gay beauty pageant contestants. The impact causes their souls to switch bodies with each other, resulting into riotous and very hilarious consequences.

The huge cast includes Enchong Dee as the groom, Miles Ocampo as the bride, Maris Racal as Enchong’s sister, Keempee de Leon and Gladys Reyes as the parents of Enchong and Maris, Eugene Domingo as the barangay captain in the resort where the wedding will take place, Tony Labrusca as Enchong’s best friend who is secretly in love with him.

The gay conteseras are played by Nico Antonio, Awra Briguela, Kaladkaren, Xilhoute and Iyah Mina as their manager. Also in the cast are Kim Atienza as himself and Fino Herrera as Kaladkaren’s lover, a hustler.

Those who exchanged bodies are Keempee de Leon and Xilhouette, Enchong Dee and Kaladkaren, and Maris Racal and Awra Briguela.

Chris Martinez’s last movie was the Vic Sotto Metro 2017 filmfest entry and he focused on doing TV shows so he’s excited to make a full length film once again. How is “The Groom” different from “The Bride”?

“Ibang-iba itong ‘Groom’ kasi mas malalim ito, naka-focus sa soul,” he says. “Yung una, more of wishful thinking lang. Dito sa ‘Groom,’ ang buong family nina Keempee, very religious and they all serve in church services. Enchong is the lector sa mass, Keempee is a lay minister while Gladys and Maris are singers sa choir. Maris wants to enter the convent and be a nun. She quotes the Bible liberally.”

The movie gets superior ensemble acting from the big cast and some folks who saw it in its premiere night predict it will win some awards.

How does he feel about it?

“More than the awards, I prefer na makitang nanonood uli ang moviegoers sa loob mismo ng sinehan at sabay-sabay silang tumatawa sa funny scenes in the movie. I’m just happy that everyone fully cooperated to make the movie really work. Sina Keempee, Enchong, Maris, Xilhouete, Kaladkaren and Awra Briguela all play two different characters each. Very detailed ang instructions ko sa kanila and they designed their two characters themselves, but with my guidance. And I am so glad everyone else is so collaborative we were able to pull it through.”

Quantum Films producer Atty. Joji Villanueva-Alonso said that she spent P27 million for the movie, making it one of the most big-budget films in the Summer Metro Filmfest. “We have plenty of crowd scenes, like the gay beauty pageants, and there’s the big wedding scene. Ayoko namang dayain, so we hired a lot of extras. But we’re all proud of how the movie came out. It’s a laugh out loud comedy and viewers will surely be entertained from beginning to end.”