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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 4, 2017

Unexpectedly Yours Movie Review: A Feelgood, Crowpleasing Romcom With Appealing Performances From Sharon And Robin

AFTER an unsuccessful attempt to do a comeback movie with her ex-husband Gabby Concepcion, Sharon Cuneta now stars with Robin Padilla in “Unexpectedly Yours”, their fourth screen outing after “Maging Sino Ka Man” in 1991, “Di Na Natuto” in 1993 and “Pagdating ng Panahon” in 2001.

The romcom follows the usual formula of boy meets and gets girl, then he loses her but, as expected, they have a big reconciliation in the end. Although we already know how the story would go, it still works because of the oozing charisma of both Sharon and Robin. Joshua Garcia and Julia Barretto are included in the cast to help attract the younger audiences, but they play supporting roles and it is never to be doubted that Sharon and Robin are the real stars of the show.

Sharon is Patty, who’s been dumped by her husband (John Estrada) for a younger woman. Their daughter (Julia) is alienated from her and wants to work in London to be with her secret boyfriend (Jameson Blake). Of course, Sharon is rejects the idea. Sharon is also having problems in her career as her ideas are often eclipsed by a younger colleague (Maxene Magalona).

Robin is Cocoy, a balikbayan seaman who is the cash cow of his mother, siblings and nephews and nieces who he sends to school. They’re the reason why he remains to be single. He has a crush in high school and it’s Sharon, but she ignored him all the time as she’s in section 1 and the class valedictorian, while Robin was in section 6.

When Sharon gets drunk in a party, she mistakenly collapses in the room of Robin then runs away surreptiously without saying goodbye to him the next morning.

Robin buys a new house for his family and it so happens that Sharon lives in the house next door. He tries to make friends with her but she rejects all his overtures. Sharon is organizing a reunion for their high school batch with her other classmates (Maritoni Fernandez, Yayo Aguila, Marina Benipayo, Toby Alejar) and it’s Robin who helps them find a venue. They also become partners in their dance number.

The movie works for us simply because Sharon doesn’t hesitate to make fun of herself and her added weight. Her character is very vulnerable as she goes through mid-life crisis and talks about facing the reality of menopause. She adorably handles both her comic scenes and her dramatic scenes with her rebellious daughter and domineering, meddlesome and overbearing mother (Pilar Pilapil) quite impressively.

As for Robin, he remains so dashing and his appeal and star wattage still burn brightly in many scenes, particularly after he is shown having shaved his moustache and combed his hair. The viewers in the mall theater where we watched squealed with delight upon his appearance on screen. That scene where he is shown shivering (kinikilig) with Sharon also brought the house down. It’s like his swaggering Binoy in “Maging Sino Ka Man” is back all over again after he did more serious films like “Bonifacio, Unang Pangulo” and “10,000 Hours” that failed to impress his fans.

JoshLia fans might be disappointed as they just play ornamental second fiddle to Sharon and Robin, who are the ones who really carry the movie from start to finish. The romantic angle between them is not even fully developed as Julia is shown giving Joshua, who’s very much smitten with her, the cold shoulder all the time. But they know this is not really their movie and they seem to be quite happy about it, especially Joshua who gives his comic best in the “pakwela” scenes with Robin.

Considering that the movie is really a quickie made in only about a month to meet its playdate, Director Cathy Garcia Molina does a pretty good job in fulfilling the film’s modest intentions to be a feel good, crowdpleasing rom-com relaunching Sharon and Robin in lead romantic roles. We’re so glad that Sharon now has a bonafide box office hit after her lamentable decision to do that confused indie film, “Pamilyang Hindi Lumuluha”, that made its producers cry when it laid a big fat egg at the tills.