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Gem of a movie

FAMILY FILM – What an entertaining small gem of a movie.

Am referring to “Tatay Kong Sexy,” topbilled by Jinggoy Estrada and Maja Salvador who are a delight to watch as mismatched partners, but blend so well with each other.

Jinggoy’s the “sexy” but responsible dad, a widower. Maja’s the “fixer” who takes care of a parentless nephew… even if she talks non-stop.

Again, director Joey Reyes proves he’s the master of intimate family films, dealing with the highs and lows of domestic relationships.

COMEDY BUT – “Tatay Kong Sexy” is primarily comedy, but with so many touching moments fathers can relate to.

Jinggoy is father to three kids, the eldest of whom is played by Empress Schuck who gets pregnant. The “culprit” is a rich suitor (Dominique Roque), whose family doesn’t approve of her.

The scenes between father and daughter are most touching. Jinggoy initially heartbroken that a precious daughter is in deep trouble. Almost unforgiving. But in the end, with the encouragement of Maja, learns to forgive and to love Empress even more.

Then there is this earlier scene where Jinggoy meets Dominic for the first time, interrogating him while he cleans a mean-looking gun.

The audience can’t help but laugh as a nervous suitor tries to hide his fear.

ROMANCE – Yes, there’s a hint of romance, May-December, between Maja and Jinggoy. But handled by direk Joey with humor and restraint. More suggestive than outright romance.

Maja continues to call Jinggoy “Tatang” and he’s rather wary of the “fixer,” a jack of all trades. But as they get to know each other well, aversion turns to fascination and, who knows, love.

Maja’s dramatic actress, but “Tatay Kong Sexy” proves she’s an effective comedienne without half trying. Jinggoy has mastered comic timing, but turns serious if called for.

Now, now, now. Moviegoers may have their bias and prejudice and dismiss the film outright. Then they’ll be missing what this columnist earlier called a gem of a movie, a small and intimate movie.

SUPPORT – In supporting roles are Bayani Agbayani, Beauty Gonzales, Mark Gil, Marina Benipayo, Tirso Cruz III, Maliksi Morales, and Jolo Estrada (Jinggoy’s son).

They all did their parts well, no doubt with direk Joey’s guidance.

“Tatay Kong Sexy” is produced by Larga Vista and released by OctoArts.