Review of engaging senior citizens romcom, ‘Monday First Screening’

September 14, 2023 Mario Bautista 254 views

Monday1Monday2‘MONDAY First Screening’ shows that in love, age doesn’t really matter. A heartwarming romance between two senior citizens, it definitely demonstrates that love is ageless and knows no bounds.

Movies are often obsessed with youth, so it’s nice to see a film that reminds us that people of all ages are entitled to feel romantic love.

It also shows that with age come wisdom and acceptance, so it’s not surprising that seniors find that their emotional bond and intimacy with their partner is even more meaningful as they experience the remaining years of their life together.

“Monday First Screening” stars two of the most awarded actors in local cinema. They’ve won both as supporting and lead performers and are now also directors themselves: Gina Alajar (“Brutal”, “Salome”, “Kapit sa Patalim”) and Ricky Davao (“Saranggola”, “Minsan May Isang Puso”, “Fuccbois”).

The film starts with Gina as Lydia getting a tribute from her colleagues as she retires from work as a professor. While jogging in the park, she meets other senior citizens who are also exercising.

She then goes to the mall and sees them lining up at the ticket booth to watch a free movie as Monday first screenings are free for senior citizens. They ask her to join their group and she does.

She gets to sit beside Ricky as Bobby, a retired architect and soon, while she’s watching, she is also unconsciously sharing his popcorn.

After the movie, they all eat together and it’s obvious Bobby is attracted to Lydia. We learn that Lydia was dumped by her husband for a younger woman. Their marriage has been officially annulled and he now lives in the States with his new family.

Lydia has a daughter, Eleonor (Che Ramos), and a granddaughter, Sofia (Reign Parani.) Bobby, in turn, is a widower. His kids now live abroad with their own families and he lives by himself.

The film focuses mainly on the development of the romance between Lydia and Bobby. There are some hindrances thrown along the way, but the script hurriedly gets rid of them.

Lydia finds a new younger suitor in a former student, David (Ian Ignacio), but she quickly realizes that she truly prefers Bobby. Her daughter also opposes her romance with Bobby, gets a private to investigate him and discovers he has lost a lot in gambling.

Bobby confesses it’s true, but he only became a gambler to cope with the pain of losing his wife to the big C. He says he has since discarded his gambling addiction, specially after meeting Lydia.

Even other problems that beset the other characters are swiftly disposed of like magic. Lydia finds out their friend (Soliman Cruz) is homeless and jobless, so she finds work for him.

She learns that their other friend (Ruby Ruiz) is being convinced by her own kid to take care of her grandchildren abroad, but she tells Ruby to tell her child that she’s not happy with that and the child listens without any questions asked.

The movie is co-written and directed by Benedict Mique (“ML”, “Momol Nights”) and produced by Net25 Films, headed by Caesar Vallejos.

As such, it’s apparent that they are really aiming to come up with a wholesome and positive movie with no unsavory or objectionable elements in it. For sure, they want an initial offering that can be seen by the whole family.

Mique fairly succeeds in accomplishing this, thanks to his lead stars who give very charming, winning performances. You will really cheer for Gina and Ricky’s appealing romance as a likeable couple in their sunset years.

They both give endearing, perfectly nuanced portrayals of their respective roles. Gina never makes a false move, in both her comic scenes and in the dramatic ones with Ricky and her judgmental daughter.

Ricky is given some corny but cute pick up lines and his Bobby is obviously a cinephile who liberally dishes out a lot of memorable quotes from classic movies, like the frequently quoted line “you complete me” from Tom Cruise’s “Jerry Maguire”. We’re told that the movie did well at the tills compared to other local films that opened recently, so we are honestly happy for all those involved in it.