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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.

Mar 13, 2012

My Kontrabida Girl Movie Review: Appealing performances and Plenty of Laughs

TODAY WILL be a crucial one for Rhian Ramos. “My Kontrabida Girl”, where she plays the title role no less, opens in theaters and this will show if people would continue to watch her work after her traumatic debacle with ex-boyfriend from hell, DJ Mo. GMA Films goes on Star Cinema mode in “My Kontrabida Girl”, a rom-com co-written and directed by Jade Castro, who has previously helmed “My Big Love” and written “My Amnesia Girl” for Star Cinema.

A feel good love story about the reigning villainess in TV soaps, Rhian plays a girl with a sad and bitter past involving her childhood best friend, Chris Bernal (Aljur Abrenica). Chris failed to show up as her escort in a crucial teen beauty pageant that she joined, resulting in much embarrassment and humiliation on her part. She returns to their hometown maliciously plotting to take revenge on him, but things don’t go exactly as she planned it.

All in all, it’s a rom-com that really works, thanks to the smart script and the fairly deft direction, with many hilarious scenes that succeed in making us laugh and an endearing love story that is credibly developed. Both Rhian and Aljur look exceedingly good on screen and they have a very charming chemistry together. Rhian attacks her role as a scheming anti-heroine bitch with good cheer and in vibrant high spirits, making her shine in so many scenes, from her first scene with Gwen Zamora, as her co-star in a TV soap who she gets to abuse on cam up, to the tear-filled confrontation scene with Aljur in the rain that is very Star Cinema. Those who make fun of Aljur’s acting in “Machete” should watch him here giving a more competent and mature portrayal leading to a better rounded character that is actually tailor made to somehow suit his off cam country boy personality.

Among the supporting performers, Chariz Solomon steals a lot of scenes as Rhian’s screwball “alalay” or personal maid. Bea Binene as Aljur’s younger sister and Jake Vargas as her secret boyfriend also have their own moments in their forbidden teen romance subplot. All in all, it’s very charming light entertainment that offers very appealing performances and plenty of laughs, despite the very cheesy climax set in an awards night. It also works as a tribute to contravidas, particularly to Bella Flores, who’s currently celebrating her 60th year as a contravida in local showbiz.