Movie: Sosy Problems

"Sosy Problems"

Sosy Problems tells about four rich, famous and gorgeous ladies who have one major problem: their favorite hangout place, The Polo Club, is in danger of being demolished and its owners are planning to build a not-so-sosy mall in its place.  The ladies will join forces and combine their resources in order to bring the demolition to a halt.  They will risk everything – even their poise and composure – to send their message across.” — courtesy of GMA Social Media press release

The Metro Manila Film Festival has begun, and because my relatives deemed this Christmas the perfect time for an out-of-the-country getaway, I found myself free from the obligation of attending a family reunion–and able to watch half of this year’s film festival line-up! In no particular order, I have already seen Si Agimat, Si Enteng Kabisote, at Ako; Sosy Problems; Shake Rattle and Roll 14; and, Thy Womb. I thought it would be best to start my Metro Manila Film Festival week here on Taking a Break with the most entertaining movie: Sosy Problems.

The quoted press release above is a little too nice for me, so let me try to use a different description for the film.

Sosy Problems is the story of four very rich, and very spoiled girls who deem status more important than anything else in life. We have Lizzie (Rhian Ramos) who bosses people as if she owns their souls; Danielle (Bianca King) who continues to live large even after her family has lost all their money; and then there’s Margaux (Solenn Heusaff) and Claudia (Heart Evangelista) who are best friends–against their rival mothers’ wishes. The latter two are more hanger-ons than anything else though, their story is more supportive of the bigger arc than solo ventures into self-discovery.

Now, the film is very entertaining–but it is not without faults. The story-telling is a little uneven, especially with the equal screen time being given to all four female leads. The characters of Lizzie and Danielle has more meat to their stories, but because of the equal screen exposure, they don’t feel fully fleshed out. Whereas Margaux and Claudia feel like they have too many filler scenes–and yet feel under-developed.

There’s also the problem of us jumping into the middle of their lives, but feeling as if all their stories had just begun. The conceit of the show is that a joke of a journalist was assigned to chronicle their every day lives; and it just so happened to coincide with the girls losing their favorite hangout…to a social-climbing wench who wants to turn their high-class club into a mall for the masses. That’s forgivable. The not-so forgivable? Danielle’s love story that starts in the middle of the movie, and yet develops mostly off-screen; the rivalry between Margaux and Claudia that begins on-screen, but develops and blows up off-screen; and Lizzie’s monsterrific tendencies against her provincial relatives being told instead of shown.

I could go on and on about what could’ve been done better, but in the end, this film succeeded where the three other films I watched didn’t. It managed to be entertaining.

Rhian Ramos, who first revealed her comedic chops in My Kontrabida Girl, solidifies her comic cred with her cheeky turn as Lizzie. Her portrayal as the head bitch of the four friends is effortless, and yet she doesn’t come off grating or annoying. Instead, she makes her character’s over-reactions funny.

Supporting players Mylene Dizon, Cherie Gil and Agot Isidro unleashes the full extent of their campiness in this film–and it makes their funny scenes funnier. Mylene Dizon’s Bernice steals her every scene, and the one she shares with Ruffa Gutierrez is definitely a highlight; Cherie Gil’s French-spewing former beauty queen role is deliciously devious with a side of crazy; and Agot Isidro is laugh-out-loud funny with her unapologetic take on a headstrong provincial socialite.

The film has a tendency to be over the top, but that’s what makes it entertaining. You know you shouldn’t take anything seriously. And because of that, out of the four Metro Manila Film Festival entries I’ve seen so far, this is the one I would not hesitate to recommend.

This Christmas, pick the movie that won’t depress or disappoint you. Pick the funny movie. Pick Sosy Problems.

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