By JOJO P. PANALIGAN
December 23, 2011, 3:45pm
MANILA, Philippines - It does not have things that go bump in the night nor is it about a controversial personage but nevertheless “My Househusband: Ikaw Na!” will most likely end up with the top awards in this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).
First off: "My Househusband: Ikaw Na!" is about a married couple who has a non-traditional set up in which the husband takes care of the kids and in manning the house while the wife looks after putting food on the table. Along the way, situations arises that test the arrangement and their relationship.
Now if this kind of film brings home the bacon come awards night on Dec. 28, then it will give prospective producers of MMFF entries in the coming years, something to chew about when it comes to deciding on what type of movies to bankroll: those that make you go “Wow, that’s incredible!” or “Wow, that’s relatable.” Indeed, as Direk Joey Javier Reyes has said in his most recent interviews, what “My Househusband : Ikaw Na!” offers is simply a slice of real life in the here and now.
And what could be a more timely subject than a husband who suddenly loses his job and finds himself one day making – burning - pancakes at home while his wife is away earning a living? Had this film been done in the ‘90s or ‘80s, it probably wouldn’t resonate with people as much as it does nowadays when many have lost their jobs and when both husband and wife need to work to keep body and soul together. Many will see themselves in the shoes of the lead characters or at least know someone who fits the bill.
It helps that the stars of the film – Ryan Agoncillo as Rod, the husband; Judy Ann Santos as Mia, the working mother; and Eugene Domingo as Aida, the next door neighbor who befriends Rod – have more chemistry than a periodic table. Perhaps it’s a given between Ryan and Judy Ann since they are real-life couple, but the way they relate to Eugene either together or one on one seemingly indicates that even the husband and wife have not lost their friendship. It is the same easy going rapport among the three.
We also note that there’s an imperceptible balance and respect among the actors especially when it comes to the funny scenes. Although Eugene is better known as comedienne as compared with the two, Mia and Rod also brought on the laughs even with Aida there. It’s a happy give and take situation that’s almost intuitive and one that only actors of their caliber and with their sense can deliver.
Director Joey Reyes is in his elements here. “ My Househusband: Ikaw Na!” is very much in the running in the MMFF but the viewers forget that: no scene is made for the purpose of winning a trophy, no line was thought up in the hopes that it would serve as recall for the film. We’re not saying that there are none of those in “My Househusband: Ikaw Na!” – there are lots, actually.
But nothing is forced, not even planned; Reyes simply wanted to tell a story and one that's damn good.
“My Househusband: Ikaw Na!”: Best Picture? Best Actor? Best Actress? Best Supporting Actress? It’s likely.
What’s certain is that the film will transcend the festival itself.
OctoArts Films’ “My Househusband: Ikaw Na!” opens on Dec. 25.