In the film, we are introduced to the topsy-turvy lives of New York-based Filipino-American friends and their head-scratching predicaments. The group gathers around their tasty native dishes and regularly discusses issues like friendship, romance, etc. The food in question--known as adobo--is as provocative and involving as the characters. Marissa (Dina Bonnevie) is the ambitious working girl that seemingly has everything at her disposal but unfortunately gets saddled down with a cheating boyfriend named Sam (Randy Becker), who has a roving eye. Good-natured Tere (Cherry Pie Pichache) is in dire need of companionship, but she diligently handles things around the kitchen. Hotshot hunk Raul (Paolo Montalban) is the resident ladies' man. Mike (Christopher De Leon) is bogged down in domestic turmoil, and fantasizes about returning to the Philippines to escape the madness of family life. And Gerry (Ricky Davao) is a closeted gay who valiantly tries to hide his sexual orientation from his mother and her traditional ways.
Although the characters are spunky and intriguing at times, the film feels as if it's going through sensationalistic motions to justify the contrived hoopla of the hectic screenplay. Director Laurice Guillen is at her best when she lets chaos rule, but as the dilemmas pile up, the film disintegrates into a hysterical, haggard romp. See Marissa in all her desperation try to hang on to a no-good Sam. See Raul deal with his possible contracting of AIDS. See Tere commit accidental arson in her own kitchen, only to discover love in the arms of a heroic fireman. And so on.
Guillen uses all the tricks in the book to try to hook you into loving American Adobo's quirky players. But corny scenes consisting of last minute deathbed discussions or sitcom-induced antics that revolve around intercepting incriminating gay-themed photos in the mail just don't do the trick.
The old adobo-out-the-nose trick.
Run time: 104 mins
In Theaters: Wednesday 16th January 2002
Box Office USA: $0.2M
Box Office Worldwide: 4
Distributed by: Outrider Pictures
Production compaines: ABS-CBN Film Productions, Star Cinema Productions, Unitel Classics
Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 30%
Fresh: 7 Rotten: 16
IMDB: 5.0 / 10
Director: Laurice Guillen
Screenwriter: Vincent Nebrida
Writer-director Christopher McQuarrie brings a dark and gritty tone to this larger-than-life franchise. Along with...
With a spectacular setting and two solid actors on-screen, this thriller builds enough solid suspense...
Those bright sparks at Pixar have done it again, taking a fiercely original approach to...
Slick direction and meaty performances may be enough for some viewers, but this boxing drama's...
Loose and impressionistic, this beautifully shot film traces the career of a DJ who pioneered...
Without a single moment of originality, this found-footage horror movie really deserves to be the...
An intriguing premise keeps the audience gripped for about 20 minutes before the movie runs...