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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Dec 24, 2011

My Househusband Movie Review

IN OUR MACHO culture where guys are expected to be the breadwinner, a domestic comedy about working wives and stay-at-home husbands like “My Househusband” might not sit well with men. But in these days when unemployment or underemployment often requires the mom to contribute to the household’s coffers, we’re sure a lot of couples would be able to identify with the situations that real life couple Judy Ann Santos and Ryan Agoncillo go through as the protagonists in this pleasant, amusing family comedy written and directed by Joey Reyes who tries hard to avoid resorting to slapstick to make his viewers laugh.

The film’s title is a short encapsulation of what the story’s concept is all about. When the bank he works for as an executive goes downsizing, Ryan can’t accept that he’s being demoted and resigns. He applies for other jobs but can’t find work. He hides the truth that he’s jobless from wife Juday, who is understandably miffed when she finds out about it by accident. Juday then works for an insurance company and she’s a big hit with her clients, while Ryan, the once hot shot bank exec, now keeps house and looks after their two kids.

There are times when you feel like you’re watching the pilot of a TV sitcom about role reversal (like the one Juday and Ryan did after their wedding, “George and Cecil”), but Reyes does manage to come up with some witty, funny comic ideas rising out of this situation. Some fall flat, like Ryan trying to cook some pancakes that ends up toasted, but most of them work well, especially with the inclusion of Eugene Domingo as their zany neighbor, the mistress of a DOM who becomes Ryan’s best friend in their neighborhood and initiates him to the joys of watching TV soap operas.

Juday glows as the smart and attractive wife who tries her best to support her husband and his wounded pride, giving her character a bouncy sense of humor. She’s also aware that this is more of Ryan’s picture and has the grace to stand aside to let him have his day after he supported her before in “Kasal Kasali Kasalo” where she won best actress. Ryan radiates warmth and is quite hilarious as the husband who goes through the trials and tribulations of caring for their two kids and doing household chores. Eugene Domingo once again shines in a scene-stealing role, tossing off one funny line after another with much flair. She also provides the funniest scene in the movie when she attempts to commit suicide then changes her mind about it, with Juday getting to slap her twice to keep her awake (LOL) after taking too much ascorbic acid.

The movie has a lot heart in it since it not only deals with marital relationships but also a couple’s relationship to their extended family who might be caring but can be too pesky and meddlesome at times, as typified by Agot Isidro as Juday’s elder sister. The film also profits so much from the fact that Juday and Ryan are truly an endearing couple, off an on screen. Juday bloomed and became more beautiful after marrying Ryan. It’s so easy to see their marriage is really working well as the joy and affection of their being married to each other not only fills up but palpably jumps off the screen to please viewers, both men and women, young and old alike.