Review: ‘Noon at Ngayon’

Loosely following vet helmer Marilou Diaz-Abaya's 1980s use of same characters, new pic reps a reunion for quartet of fem friends, now pushing middle age and dealing with kids and ailing parents. Soap cycle consists of fights followed by teary resolutions and giddy laughter. Offshore prospects are nil, except on vid among Filipino expats.

As expected from an item featuring thesps like Dimples Romana and Cherry Pie Picache, “Noon at Ngayon” has a serious case of the cutes. Loosely following vet helmer Marilou Diaz-Abaya’s 1980s use of same characters, new pic reps a reunion for quartet of fem friends, now pushing middle age and dealing with the problems of kids and ailing parents. Soap cycle consists of fights followed by teary resolutions and giddy laughter, endlessly repeated and all set to tinkly synthesizer music. Offshore prospects are nil, except on vid among Filipino expats.

Two-hour-plus saga centers on Joey (Dina Bonnevie) returning from the States after a long absence to deal with her mom’s losing (but noble) cancer fight. One pal has a gay son, a subplot handled with some grace despite overeager slapstick attached. Another offspring from the circle, a handsome, quietly artistic lad, falls in love with her, leading to more problems — not the least of which is their total lack of chemistry. Oedipal pot is further boiled when he’s revealed to be the son of a revolutionary leader Joey once loved. Political elements are jarringly added.

Noon at Ngayon

Phillipines

Production

A Star Cinema production, in association with ABS-CBN Film Prodductions. (International sales: ABS-CBN Film Prodductions, Quezon City. Produced by Tess V. Fuentes. Executive producers, Malou Santos, Charo Santos-Concio. Directed by Marilou Diaz-Abaya. Screenplay, Ricardo Lee;

Crew

Camera (color), Eduardo "Totoy" Jacinto; editor, Tara Ellenberger; music, Nonong Buencamino; production designer, Kay S. Abano. Reviewed at Hawaii Film Festival (Filipino Experience), Nov. 8, 2003. (Original title: Pagsasamang Kayganda.) Running time: 125 MIN.

With

Dina Bonnevie, Cherry Pie Picache, Jean Garcia, Eula Valdez, Laurice Guillen, Jericho Rosales, Marvin Agustin, Patrick Garcia, Dimples Romana, Aiza Marquez, Paolo Contis, Jodi Santa Maria.
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