THE UNMARRIED WIFE (Maryo J. Delos Reyes, 2016)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on The Unmarried Wife:

1. I had an overwhelming sense of deja vu while watching this newest kabit movie from Star Cinema. Hmm, a non-linear narrative written by Vanessa Valdez and directed by Maryo J. Delos Reyes where Angelica Panganiban played a scorned wife trying to win her husband back. Oh, it was 2007’s A Love Story! Only without a plot twist to support the chosen style.

Well, that movie was a box office hit so they probably wanted to employ the same technique and replicate the same commercial success. Or maybe the non-chronological events would distract the audience from the fact that this wasn’t any different from the normal kabitserye on Primetime Bida.

2. Angelica played Anne, a group director for the feminine hygiene division in an advertising agency. Her smart pitch for a sanitary napkin involved a recollection of the best days with her father with the slogan “I’m an Always Free girl because of my dad”. I wish this were an actual commercial because it would definitely crack me up and send me good vibes every time I would see it on TV.

As with any successful career woman in the Star Cinema universe, she was instantly cursed to have a troubled family life. Being accomplished at work apparently meant that she neglected her wife and mother duties at home. The lack of kitchen counter sex was reason enough for her husband Geoff (Dingdong Dantes) to cheat on her. Obviously, Geoff wasn’t an Always Free dad.

3. In one hilariously terrible scene, Anne was caught leaving early by her boss and the exact reason she gave was, “I’m the only wife of my husband. He is not just my husband, he is my life.” Her early out was approved.

4. When Paulo Avelino showed up as the third party Bryan, he was so white that I expected him to sparkle when he took his shirt off. I bet Anne could have made a killer slogan with that one (“Fresh Funda, para sa kutis Twilight”).

5. It was really hard to take the movie seriously when it was peppered with these lines that wanted to one-up the Quiapo dialogue in No Other Woman:

• “Mabuti pa ang mga isda hindi kelangan makipagkiskisan sa mga asawa.”

• “Ang itlog kapag hindi nalilimliman ay nabubulok. Ang pechay kapag hindi nadidiligan ay nalalanta.”

• “Ano ba ang sorry sa’yo? Isang lisensya para paulit-ulit mo akong lokohin at gaguhin?”

• “Wag mo akong gawing parausan kasi mawawalan ng silbi ang kabit mo!”

6. But wait, there’s more! As expected, there was a confrontation slash showdown with an equally-bitchy mistress played by Maricar Reyes. Women, you might want to write these down for future reference:

• “Akala ko naliligaw lang ako. Bakit andito ka sa Quezon City eh mas bagay ka sa Makati?”

• “Ayoko mahawa sa kadumihan mo. Wala akong dalang panglinis.”

• “Can you not fuck my husband?” (“Wag mo ‘kong ma-Terry-Terry!!”)

All of these lines were delivered with flared nostrils and in full nanlilisik ang mga mata mode. Madam Claudia Buenavista, isdatchu?

7. To be fair, there was a good story here somewhere. I have always wondered why women stay in abusive relationships for the sake of marriage or their kids (“When our men are weak, we have to be stronger”). Also, why do we always have this fantasy that cheaters will change their ways and that love will always lead them back to us? Why does our local justice system seem to heavily work in favor of men? Why does society still have this double standard in terms of cheating husbands vs cheating wives (not that they’re justifiable)?

If only the movie tried to explore these concepts further instead of reveling in the usual soap opera tropes.

8. Most of the performances here were okay so it was a welcome treat to see Mart Escudero (as the typical gay assistant) delivering the most crowd-pleasing line, “I don’t want your life Ma’m. Ayoko maging katulad n’yo na ginagawa kaming punching bag sa mga hanash n’yo sa buhay”, sabay walk-out. Also, Denise Laurel in Shakira extensions. Enough said.

9. At least the movie followed the general rule in ’90s melodrama: Lahat ng pwedeng mabasag, dapat mabasag. Goodbye kitchenware! So long wine bottle! You will be missed windshield!!

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

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2 thoughts on “THE UNMARRIED WIFE (Maryo J. Delos Reyes, 2016)”

  1. Hi,

    Not that i dont like how u rate or provide feedback with the movie. Its just the personal comment that bothers me.

    “Why does our local justice system seem to heavily work in favor of men? Why does society still have this double standard in terms of cheating husbands vs cheating wives (not that they’re justifiable)?”

    It does not, do u know a law that protects abused men/man?

    Hope this help that this is a public post. Make sure that personal opinions are kept and not involved or used. Or it will be like the normal “mema post”.

    Thank u.

    1. Hi Gemini, the comment I made was based on our local laws specific to adultery vs concubinage (one of the themes of The Unmarried Wife). In a nutshell, a husband can file an adultery case against his cheating wife and he only needs to provide proof of sexual infidelity. On the other hand, a wife can file a concubinage case against a cheating husband only if her proof of sexual infidelity is coupled with the following instances: the mistress is kept in the same home as the wife, the husband lives with the mistress in another home, or the infidelity was committed in a scandalous nature. Why doesn’t our law treat any cheating party with the same regard?

      The same double standard happens in our society. A cheating husband doesn’t get frowned upon as much as a cheating wife.

      I do understand your point that there might be a certain bias against men given that there’s no Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act to protect them, but this would be more of a result of statistics and ironically enough, the perception that women are the weaker sex. Besides, if we’re seeing as many battered men cases as battered women cases, any of our legislators can file a proposal to create one for them. Can we expect the same amendment regarding the adultery vs concubinage laws? I don’t think so.

      Lastly, I am not a film reviewer. I provide notes on how I feel after watching these movies so everything here will be subjective and based on my personal opinions. I’m happy that you’ve engaged in this discussion because I like to read how others think and feel (even if they’re contradictory to mine). I try my best to remain factual and if proven wrong, I acknowledge my errors. Thank you for the feedback! 😊

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