Easter Sunday – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Easter Sunday – Family So Familiar: Filipino Edition

To see is to feel … to feel is to breathe.  As we ponder all around, we have perceptions that can be good or bad.  Like any medium, film is an avenue that we drive, but where we arrive can be a different view from another person.  What we believe to be great can also be lackluster.  With the many ways we see stories, there is beauty in variety because we still experience something.  In this review, I look at a comedy film from Jo Koy.  Known for his stand-up, he ventures into a new realm filled with wholesome detail and familiarity.  Easter Sunday provides some laughter, but withers away in the after taste.   

The story follows Jo Valencia (Jo Koy) as he heads home for Easter Sunday.  With many things on his mind, will he be able to survive family while getting the role of his dreams.  With this film, you are witness to two things: culture representation and genre familiarity.  Through that aspect of representation, you have a story that highlights Filipino Culture.  The atmosphere of family drama, parental conflict and career aspiration provides a level of charm that is filled with wit and grounded appeal.  This is felt from the beginning as the first act introduces you to Jo Valencia.  He is a struggling actor (vying for a specific role) while trying to be the best father figure for his son.  Paralleling this is his strained relationship with his mother back home in Daly City.  These issues drive him (catalyst) to head home for Easter Sunday (plot point), bringing together these multiple threads together.  Once he and his son arrive at his mother’s place, the second act continues that grounded aspect of familial issues.  Within a mixture of comedic hijinks, there is a level of emotional fervor that provide raw situations of drama, fun and tension.  The endearment of family is a strength, but eventually gets lost the other part of the film: genre familiarity.

With issues happening all around (family, son, career), these threads are left to wallow for the sake of genre.  What happens is these multiple threads are drowned out by cliché one-liners, unexpected cameos and cheesy humor.  There is no balance between the comedy and the wholesomeness of family and culture, breaking apart into an unfocused mess of gimmicks and shallow moments.  With enjoyment teetering on a break point, we head into a third act that slowly brings everything around.  As the family begins Easter Dinner, it brings us back to those strong familial elements.  This leads into a display of redemption and intrigue, leaving the audience with a genuine climax and wholesome epilogue.  Easter Sunday is a film filled with strong moments and lackluster comedy.  If you are a fan of Jo Koy, family comedies or culture, I say there is enough to enjoy.  This is good family fun on a Friday Night.

Full Score – 2.5 out of 5 (Friday Night Rental)

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