Balita ko bonggang-bongga raw ang box office returns ng Miss Granny. I just hope na malaki ang ibinayad ng Viva kay Sarah Geronimo for this movie, at kung hindi eh bigyan siya ng humongous na bonus dahil she basically carried the whole movie on her no-longer 20-year old shoulders ‘noh.
Miss Granny is tungkol sa isang lola’ng masungit na for some magical reason eh biglang bumata ulit and managed to live out her dream life bilang isang singer.
Wititit na bagong konsepto ang kwento ng makyonders na biglang bumabata to relive their youth. Bongga lang talagang bumali ng kwento ang mga Koreano at magaling magpakilig kaya naging massive critical at commercial hit ito sa Korea and was subsequently remade several times across Asia.
Base sa nabasa kong synopsis, very faithful ang local remake na ito, by Bb Joyce Bernal, sa takbo ng kwento ng korean original, including yung mga markadong eksena. Feeling ko nga practically scene by scene ang pagkopya sa orig na possibly ay mandando ng kumpanyang may-ari ng copyrights.
Hindi ko pa nawatch yung orig pero, as a Korean fantasy romcom, i’m sure bibilhin ko ang buong premise nito hook like and sinker. But transplanted to the Philippine setting… uhm not so much.
It could be cultural. Maybe Koreans find majujungit na lola funny and endearing. Sa kwento kasi si Lola Granny, played here by Nova Villa, is so sungit to people na hindi niya anak o apo. She is so toxic nga na nagkasakit sa puso ang manugang niya played by a very downtrodden but well-fed Lotlot de Leon.
It must be the stress-eating.
Kaya naman nung pag-isipan ng bonakis ni lola, played by Noni Buencamino, na ilagak siya sa home for the aged, Lola Granny gets no sympathy from me. Deserve mo yan mamu. Nakikitira ka lang pamilya ng anakis mo at jowa niya, makisama ka kaya. At maski na it turns out pala na iyo ang balur na tinitirhan, maging graciousa ka kaya or else be ready to live alone noh.
Hindi rin nakatulong yung eksena na binoogie-wonderland siya nung isang ale. Bonakis pala yun nung Good samaritan na kumupkop kay Lola Granny at kaya anakis noong walang-wala sila tapos ninakawan pa ni Lola Granny ng recipe ng ulam. The nerve! The intention could be to show na handa si Lola Granny gawin lahat para buhayin ang anakis niya and garner her sympathy point but, sorry mamu, NO. Ang na-gets ko lang eh dati pa pala, masamang tao na si lola. Ok super-care siya sa pamilya niya, pero hanggang doon na lang talaga scope ng caring niya at kebs nang mang-apak ng ibang tao? Hay naku…
Anyways, so dahil nga hurt na hurt si Lola Granny sa percieve traitorous behaviour after all she have done for her anakis, nag-tampung pururot ito at nagstokwa.
This will teach you! Mamimiss niyo ako pag wala na ako. What a wonderful lesson on the joys of being passive-agressive.
This is the point where Lola Granny Nova stumbled upon the magical photo studio who turned her into, voila, Miss Granny Sarah Geronimo!
And none too soon! At this point kasi inip na inip na ako sa prologue, sorry, to be honest, I have never found Nova Villa inherently endearing. Nakakatawa siya minsan, and effective pag nagdadrama, pero ang tingin ko sa kanya eh pocket-sized maldita. A malditalette. Hindi automatic ang simpatiya ko sa kanya and at this point, irita lang ang nararamdaman ko for her character.
At this point rin lang ako truly naengage sa movie and all because of Sarah’s commitment sa role niya. It is fun to watch her play against type. Nakakatuwa seeing her svelte figure doing the old lady waddle and hearing her talk and manhandle other guys like a lola with no more fucks left to give. Plus, her total immersion sa role made that kitchy na A-kiss-me-Kiss-Me song less cringe-y. Sarah you have done Vilma Santos proud. char.
Story-wise, since tinanggap ko rin lang naman na maski masama ang ugali ni lola Granny, fate still saw it fit to give another chance at youth, so palampasin ko na yung eksenang nakabili si Miss Granny ng isang banig ng Valium over the counter at for P300 may sukli pa. Baka naman magical na botika ito katulad nung magical na photo studio.
As Miss Granny, merong tatlong lulurking umaaligid kay Sarah. Una is the band leader played by James Reid. Supposedly may crush si James kay Sarah which is kilig, kaso sa movie eh apo ni Sarah si James which makes it ewww. Staple na ng korean romcoms ang role na ito na usually is given cute eye-candy young guys still being groomed to possibly be matinee idols. Obviously lampas na si James sa stage na ito so I felt James was under-utilized here. Hindi naman ako nagereklamo keshe mesherep nemen sye. Sana lang hinubaran siya maski slight. Hihihihi
The second guy is the record producer who gives Granny and her band the big break played by Xian Lim. Honestly kung kumuha sila ng cardboard na standee ni Xian tapos nilagyan nila ng tali para gumalaw, they would have gotten as much character and charm. Though natuwa ako dun sa eksenang hinahampas-hampas siya ni Sarah ng malaking bangus. Kitang-kitang Sarah was having so much fun sa paghalihaw kay Xian ng fish sa fez na she had trouble keeping in character. But again maski ako, i would have fun na hampasin ng isda si Xian sa fez.
The third guy ay ang lolo na may long time na napagsinta kay Lola Granny, played by Buboy Garovillo. Surprisingly, or fittingly, I felt that Sarah had the most chemistry with Buboy. Ansaya ng mga eksena nila together. The way magbatuhan sila, parang magkaidad lang talaga na after a while you forget na may more than 30 years gap sila sa idad. A new love team is born! Team Sa-Boy! or is it Team Bu-Rah? You choose.
Napansin ko lang pala, why are all other young female characters in this movie, shrill, bitchy or snarky? The female extra sa resto was dismissive and bitchy, the dispachadora sa ukay-ukay was judgey and bitchy, the original lead singer ng banda ni James was slutty and bitchy, James’ sister was surly and bitchy, Buboy’s daughter was loud and bitchy. When did bitchy become widespread and supposedly funny?
Ok, so the last one was played with more texture by Kim Molina, pero bitchy and unnecessarily loud pa rin and unless ang planned career trajectory ni Kim ay maging makabagong Cynthia Patag o Beverly Salviejo, I suggest she reconsider her acting choices.
While i thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated Sarah’s effort here, the movie itself failed to wow me. and it’s not even her fault. Feeling ko may problema sa almost literal na pagtransplant ng buong kwento at characters into the Pinoy millieu without much consideration sa cultural difference. Pero kung big Sarah fan ka, pweydi na.