You don’t need to be 20 Again to enjoy this sometimes uneven, but undeniably entertaining film. Here’s my review of Bb. Joyce Bernal’s ‘Miss Granny’.
Let me start by saying that this isn’t Sarah Geronimo’s best film. You could say that I’m a fan of hers, and I’ve enjoyed watching most of her films. There are many contenders for that title, and for me, her best film, acting-wise, is actually The Breakup Playlist. What she showcases here in Miss Granny is her versatility, and her performance in this film alone is enough to make it worth watching. Needless to say though, I have many problems with this film, which I’ll be discussing more down below.
The film is about Fely, a 70 year old grandmother who’s magically transformed back to her 20-year old self after having her photo taken at a mysterious photo studio. She discovers newly found joy and fame in her regained youthfulness, at the expense of her loved one’s feelings. I haven’t seen the original Korean version of this film, as well as the other remakes from other countries, so I can’t really compare our version to theirs.
What I can say though, is how much this film caters to Filipino sensibilities. This film focuses more on familial ties and values rather than focusing on the romantic aspects, and that’s a good thing. It’s entertaining to watch and all, but the thing is, you can’t help but feel like there’s something missing in here. The whole of the first act felt choppy, like a lot of the scenes that were supposed to emotionally connect the audience to the film were missing. It must be because the film was haphazardly edited, or it maybe in how the story was written, but it just felt incomplete.
The ending isn’t that great, too. It all feels rushed, denying us from a satisfying conclusion. The film struggles to sell its emotions, as the story feels more like fragments of a good story rather than a fully developed one, and it expects the audience to piece it all together on their own. The mediocrity of the technical aspects of the film hinder it from its greater potential. It’s a shame, because this would’ve been a better film if they took the time to fine tune everything, instead of leaving it at the messy state it’s currently in.
Sarah Geronimo gives her all in this film, and the result is pretty amazing to watch. She’s already proven to everyone that she’s a genuinely talented, and versatile actress. Her soulful singing is the icing on the cake, adding up to what is already a great performance. Nova Villa was hilarious and endearing at the same time, and Geronimo does a great job at mimicking even the smallest nuances of Villa. James Reid was fine, but his accent can get a bit distracting, it sounded worse than in his previous movies. Xian Lim wasn’t really given anything to do, his character was rendered insignificant. Nonie Buencamino shined in his monologue opposite Geronimo in the final act.
Let’s not forget that this is also a musical, and they did a pretty good job with the selection of music they used in the film. It looks like the original song Isa Pang Araw is shaping up to be one of Sarah Geronimo’s most iconic songs. If there’s one more thing that I didn’t like in this film, it’s the blatant on-screen advertising. This is really more of a nitpick, as there are only a couple of scenes that did this, but when these brands showed up on screen, they weren’t even trying to make it subtle. There are better ways to do this, but it seemed like they didn’t care at all.
Miss Granny is like a puzzle with a lot of missing pieces. It leaves a lot to be desired, and it opens up more questions than it can actually answer. Sarah Geronimo’s delightful performance saves this from being a total mess, and she actually makes this worth watching. It’s not that bad of a film, and I really enjoyed it, to be honest. It just felt like an incomplete experience.
My Rating: 7/10
Here’s the full trailer of ‘Miss Granny’: