The third big screen team up of real life couple Judy Ann Santos and Ryan Agoncillo with Jose Javier Reyes is something that they already have (somehow) covered up in their past two efforts. The good thing about this is that they have already mastered and we’ll be assured that there’s quality in the production. The bad thing about this is that comparisons to the previous movie is inevitable. Plus, there’s no Bronson here.
Rodrigo (Ryan Agoncillo) is the breadwinner of their family while his wife Mia (Judy Ann Santos) works as a part time in an insurance company as she is in charge of their household and their two kids. Due to some buying out, Rod resigned as he felt he was demoted in his job. Tables turned now as Rod becomes the house husband and Mia starts to be the breadwinner of the family. He developed a friendship with infamous neighbor Aida (Eugene Domingo), which made Mia jealous at some point.
It is already a given that partners in life Judy Ann Santos and Ryan Agoncillo will have amazing chemistry. It was very evident in all of their scenes together. What elevated the film though is their perfect chemistry with third wheel Eugene Domingo. Domingo’s character was written not as a cardboard character but as a piece of the puzzle. Her character was fleshed out, and that gave Domingo room for her character to be as human as possible. If anything, the same can be said to the characters of Mia and Rod; they’re human and they actually exist. The situations they live in were very real and possible, all thanks to the effective script by Jose Javier Reyes. His direction isn’t anywhere near his best, but he’s consistent in it.
Aside from the characters of Agot Isidro, Dante Rivero, and Boots Anson Roa, most of the minor characters here were clearly extras. The movie can revolve with only the three main characters in it. There are times when you feel that you’re just watching an extended version of a TV sitcom about husbands and wives role reversals, and the set up of the situation is somewhat slow, but there isn’t anything that will turn you off in a major way.
Judy Ann Santos has mastered doing comedy and drama taking turns as what the situations ask her to do. In the movie, one can notice how she does not hog the spotlight and does not skip a beat in it. Ryan Agoncillo has came a long way now, and he has already made a mark so that he won’t be upstaged by both Domingo and Santos. His is probably one of my favorite performances during the whole festival. I also think it’s his best. Eugene Domingo could have lazily played the character of Aida in an overacted and cliched manner, but she refused to take that route; instead, she went for someone that the audience will enjoy yet feel for. Sure, there are some theatrics every now and then, but she’s so convincingly good in it. If she can win for her roles in Bahay Kubo and Tanging Ina nyo Last Na ‘To, then the award should be hers in a cakewalk.
What can I say? Direk Joey Reyes did it again. Mainstream movies rarely portray “real life” consistently, and this is one of those times when it actually did. If you want to take a break form the overrated horror films, the overacted dramas, and the fantasy films, My House Husband is the little gem that could. Definitely a must see this filmfest!