Being a Jadine fan, I’ve been waiting to watch Beauty and the Bestie since my OTP was announced as part of the movie. It didn’t hurt that I liked Coco Martin and Vice Ganda as well. However, I knew that the combined powers of these four would mean long lines at the cinema on the first day so I waited for Day 3 before finally catching the first screening of the movie. My strategy paid off, and I was not disappointed by the laughs delivered by this Wenn Deramas flick.
Emman (Coco Martin) and Eric (Vice Ganda) used to be best friends until they parted ways bitterly when Emman finds out that his bestie has secret feelings for him. He pursues a life as a super secret agent while Eric continues his father’s legacy to become a small time photographer, making ends meet for his sister Abi (Nadine Lustre) and nephews Jimbo (Marco Masa) and Jumbo (Alonzo Muhlach), who were abandoned by their mother Edith to elope with her boyfriend. But when Emman’s division is assigned a case to find a lookalike that would impersonate the missing daughter of the Prime Minister of a rich Middle East nation for a beauty pageant, he must try to convince his bestie to help him fulfill his mission. While the duo work on the case, Abi meets Emman’s brother Tristan (James Reid) and the two develop feelings for each other.
Fans familiar with Direk Wenn Deramas and Vice Ganda’s comedic style will not be surprised by the film’s approach. The movie plays like a litany of gags stitched together by consecutive sequences in a fast paced barrage of skits, parodies and jokes that will definitely have the audience grasping their sides from laughter.
The story is fairly common and pretty shallow but does not pretend to be otherwise. Instead, it fully embraces its silliness to catapult the humor to a whole new level.
What’s great about the movie is that everyone, when they signed on for the film seemed to be on the same page. Coco, who is better known as a serious dramatic actor/ action star matched Vice Ganda’s comedic commitment sequence per sequence. My favorite scenes were actually the car chase scene where they sang Hold On together, as well as freefall scene where they talked about the moon. It was a drawn out scene that definitely hurt my tummy.
James and Nadine, who were charged with delivering the romance part of the film, did so with flying colors. The unique chemistry between two stars made me want to see more and more of them but because of the obvious tightness of the taping schedules for their soap On the Wings of Love, out of town concerts, magazine shoots and endorsements, exposure for Jadine was limited to a few sequences.
I loved that the film catered to the Jadine fans by basing their jokes on real life happenings in JadineLand like their fight at the premiere, the scenes about Abi being jealous about James ‘kissing’ another girl, and questions about their real life status — are they in love with each other? (real vs reel). There were also Diary ng Panget references as well that were funny and kilig.I liked that their characters were charming, young and flirty — they definitely brought a smile to my face with every scene.
Their interactions with Coco and Vice were also cute. I loved James’ confrontation with Coco which ended with a punchline. There was a boyish charm to his character when he hugged his big brother that brought a ton of good vibes among the audience. Nadine, on the other hand, has the makings of a local version of Jennifer Aniston in time. She has great comedic timing in her delivery which was evident from the time she played Eya (DNP), but she has now become more seasoned after several projects. I believe that she has the potential to be more.
I loved Vice’s sidekicks Lassy Marquez as Jude and MC Calaquian as Steff who traded barbs with her throughout the movie and upped the comedic ante of the film a hundredfold. There were no dull moments for these three.
Also of note was the action part of the movie. The approach was very Probinsyano. I was waiting for Coco to run out of bullets and reload half of the time but he never did, which is quite typical for local action movies, more so for action comedies. The car chases and stunts were also nothing to scoff at. There were car crashes, explosions and drifting stunts featured in the film which was a pretty great treat for audiences simply expecting to laugh the entire time.
The downside to the film was probably that it served up its best jokes in its two minute trailer. However, this is not to say that the film does not offer any other bullets in its arsenal after the trailer, but it would have been nice to have reserved some of the gags for the actual movie.
All in all, Beauty and the Bestie is not the best comedy of all time, nor does it offer the audience anything other than almost two hours of mindless fun. It does not claim to make sense all the time, but it managed to accomplish what it set out to do, entertain the viewers for the entire length of the movie and give them the gift of laughter during the holidays, and for this, the entire team deserves a pat on the back.