“Ang Dalawang Mrs Reyes” revolves around a pair of devoted wives who got cheated by their respective husbands, who turned out to be gay, and in a relationship.
Cindy (Angelica Panganiban) has been relentlessly asked by her mother-in-law–whom she isn’t fond of–to give her a grand child, with her son, Felix (JC de Vera). Felix, whose fondness of cats goes to some ridiculous extent, does not seem to be in a hurry, but does the job ‘in bed’, very satisfyingly. That seems enough to make Cindy believe she married a straight guy, but only until she wakes up to find a parting letter from Felix that says he’s been in love with another man.
In her earnest pursuit for her husband, she enlists the help of Lianne (Judy Ann Santos), whose husband, Gary, confessed he’s been in an affair with another man–Felix. Feeling betrayed, the two embark in a crazy plan to make the lives of their husbands, miserable, determined to make them suffer for betraying them.
The whole of Jun Lana and Elmer Gatchalian’s screenplay is blissfully peppered with comedic bits that effectively work and linger. Oftentimes, comic proceedings escape reality, but the narrative is quick to acknowledge its occassional implausibility, and mines it to create absurd sequences that make the audience explode to laughter.
Jun Lana, at the helm, seems to have mastered placing characters in beautiful places of his script to make them shine.
Panganiban, who have already worked on a number of critically praised comedy films, exert an immersive comedic timing. She owns her comic moments and indulge in the absurdity, thus making Cindy more hilarious, but still relatable. Santos, on the other hand, does some firsts in the film, the most memorable of which, perhaps, is delivering a curse phrase, in the most endearingly funny way, possible.
Trust me, you’d burst to laughing in one of those moments.
Santos feels more real here, and that realization isn’t confined in the fact that she has finally embraced a mature role of this level, but more importantly because Lianne is a human being, fragile and susceptible to making horrible choices, and Santos never deprived Lianne that sense of humanity.
Joross Gamboa, who played Gary, seems to have the knack in playing gay roles, and Gary isn’t just a gay man in discreet, he’s an effeminate man who is convinced he is a woman trapped in a man’s body.
JC de Vera manages to pull off Felix, decently, but that may be mostly because the character seems to be not written to excite audience.
It is interesting to note that the narrative’s emotional weight is largely born by Santos’ character. The film takes a subtle underscoring homosexual relationships and occasionally tackles them in vaguely general manner, but it eventually centers its campaign in shedding light on infidelity, regardless of form.
This part of the script can be potentially controversial, but an earnest resolution is prepared to do some explaining. There is an extremely touching conversation shared by Lianne and her daughter (Andrea Brillantes) that is beautifully rendered with utmost sincerity, and while the spine-tingling appeal of such emotional moment mostly comes from the sentiment the scene is trying to get across, itself, it is Brillantes’ powerful delivery of her line, that would probably make it more iconic.
The conflicts and resolutions of the film mostly fall under conventions, but Lana and Gatchalian’s script tries to expand the proceedings by sprinkling them with outright comic madness, and swells the crazy moments into a chaotic extravagance of comedy.
Undoubtedly going to be a crowd-pleaser, “Ang Dalawang Mrs. Reyes” won’t have a hard time earning well-deserved chuckles, with its relatable themes about family, relationships, and acceptance. 4/5
5 – Excellent
4 – Very Good
3 – Good
2 – Tolerable
1 – Terrible