MMFF 2016: 5 things to know about ‘Vince and Kath and James’

Alexa Villano
What is a 'text-serye'? Julia Barretto, Ronnie Alonte, and Joshua Garcia star in a modern romantic movie based on an online series

Photo courtesy of Star Cinema

MANILA, Philippines – Star Cinema is known for offering family and comedy films during Christmas season. But for this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), they are offering up a story on today’s millenials, seen from the messages exchanged through cell phones and social media. 

Vince and Kath and James is based on the popular online series called Vince and Kath. In the film, Vince (Joshua Garcia), an electrical engineering student, struggles with his feelings for his good friend Kath (Julia Barretto), sending it through text messages instead. Things however become complicated when he seeks the help of his cousin James (Ronnie Alonte), who also starts to like Kath.

VINCE AND KATH AND JAMES. The cast of the movie 'Vince and Kath and James' during the press conference. The movie opens on December 25. Photo by Martin San Diego/Rappler

In the original series, the story was about Vince and how he reveals his feelings to Kath through their exchange of the text messages. 

Here are some facts about the movie and the stars of the film.

1. Director Thedore Boborol and Julia Barretto on Vince and Kath and James being a potential a top grosser. Director Theodore “Ted” Boborol was asked to comment about the possibility that the movie can be one of the MMFF’s potential top grossers. Direk Ted, who is known for shows such as Be My Lady and Annaliza, said:

“At first we are flattered. Syempre nung ginawa namin yung pelikula hindi na namin ini-expect na una, in the first place makapasok kami sa MMFF. Pangalawa, ‘yung prenepredict na top grosser, kaya lang ayaw namin ilagay sa isip namin kasi ang yabang naman nun.

(Of course when we made this film, we never expected that we will be part of the MMFF. Second, the fact that they are predicting we might be one of the top grossers, we would rather not entertain that thought because we will come off very arrogant.) 

Masaya lang kami na tinanggap kami sa MMFF at gusto namin ibahagi yung kasiyahan namin na nararamdaman namin sa mga manonood.” 

(We are happy that the MMFF accepted our entry and we want to show the happiness we are feeling to the viewers.)

Director Ted Borborol. Photo by Martin San Diego/Rappler

Julia meanwhile added:  “At this point, ang saya ko lang po talaga na nakapasok kami sa MMFF. Never in my wildest dream. [This is a ] dream come true po talaga ito. Pero dahil yon ang iniisip nila, syempre eni-embrace na lang po namin. Nagpapasalamat po kami pero syempre iyon din ang prayer namin pero sana suportahan natin lahat ng films.” 


(At this point, I’m very happy that we’re in the MMFF. Never in my wildest dream. [This is a ] dream come true for us. Since that’s how they [the people] are thinking, of course we are embracing it. We are very thankful but of course, that’s also our prayer and we hope everyone will support all the films.)  

2. This is Julia Barretto’s first time to work with Ronnie Alonte and Joshua Garcia. 

“Actually, ito yung first project na makakasama ko si Ronnie at si Joshua at saka first time ko din sila makasama sa isang proyekto. Sobrang saya ko, sobrang natuwa ako  na nakabuild ako ng relationship and bond with the two boys and sobrang light nila katrabaho.

(Actually, this is the first project that I will have with Ronnie and Joshua and our first time to be in one project. I’m so happy, very happy because I was able to build a relationship and bond with the two boys, and they are so easy to work with.)

“And walang problema sa set. That’s important siguro dahil importante yung friendship. Siguro it’s the best foundation talaga to create chemistry. So natutuwa ako na may bond kaming tatlo,” she said.

(And there’s no problem on the set, that’s important I guess because of the friendship. I guess it’s the best foundation to create a chemistry. I’m very happy all 3 of us were able to bond.)

Asked how to describe her character Kath in the movie, Julia said: “Si Kath dito…very simple lang dito, very boyish and hindi siya parang soft noh direk? Pero pagdating sa pag-ibig, doon lang siya lumalambot.

(Kath here is very simple, very boyish and she’s not very soft here. But when it comes to love, that’s when she softens.)

Photo by Martin San Diego/Rappler

Julia has previously been paired with other leading men such as Enrique Gil, Iñigo Pascual, Sam Concepcion, and Kenzo Gutierrez on TV shows.

The tandem of Julia and Ronnie will also be tested in the upcoming ABS-CBN drama A Love to Last starting January 9.

3. Joshua Garcia on being tagged as the next John Lloyd Cruz. Joshua, who started his career on Pinoy Big Brother: All In and became part of Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita and currently part of The Greatest Love was asked to comment on being tagged as potentially being the next John Lloyd Cruz.

Siguro po nakakatuwa po na nakakataba ng puso, na sinasabi nila na na next John Lloyd Cruz ako. Actually, kinikilig ako na tinatawag nila ako kasi idol ko talaga si John Lloyd. Kahit nga yung 1/4 na narating ni Kuya John Lloyd, ay sana marating ko din,” he said. 

(I guess I’m happy, and very flattered in my heart, that they are saying that I am the next John Lloyd Cruz. Actually, I get giddy when they call me that because John Lloyd is really my idol. And to reach even a quarter of what Kuya John Lloyd has, I hope to reach it as well.)

Joshua Garcia. Photo by Martin San Diego/Rappler


4. Ronnie Alonte is in 2 MMFF movies. Ronnie Alonte found himself starring in not one but two films that are part of the film festival. Aside from Vince and Kath and James, Ronnie part of Erik Matti’s Seklusyon.

During the press conference, Ronnie was asked to comment about his involvement in two films. 

The Hashtag dance group member said: “Para sa akin lahat na lang po suportahan na lang, sabay-sabay natin panoorin. Ako po kasi plano ko lahat panoorin ko po

(For me, I will support all films, let’s watch all of them together. For me, I really plan to watch all of it.)

Sabay ko pong ginawa itong movie na ito [at ‘yung Seklusyon] and ang saya ko din po dahil hindi ko inieexpect na dalawa yung makakapasok sa Metro Manila Film Festival.” 

(I did both this film [and Seklusyon] at the same time and I’m happy because I did not expect that both films will be part of the Metro Manila Film Festival.)

Ronnie Alonte. Photo by Martin San Diego/Rappler

Although he’s busy with his film and TV career, Ronnie clarified he will not leave the Hashtags.

Kahit ano po mangyari sabi ko nga po sa kanila, kahit maging sobrang busy ako, wala man ako sa tabi nila, basta nandoon pa din ako. Pagka-open ang sched ko pupunta pa rin ako sa Hashtags at sasayaw pa rin ako,” he said. 

(No matter what happens, I told them, even if I’m busy, I’m not with them all the time, I’m still there. When my schedule is open, I will still go with the Hashtags and dance.) 

5. On courtship

Although they are modern girls, Julia and Maris Racal, who plays her best friend Maxine, said they still believe in the tradtional ways of courtship, where it’s important to get to know each other’s families, though of course, dating in modern times now involves texting and social media. 

Sa akin po, traditional na may hint of courting in a millennial way,” Maris said. “Kasi para po sa akin, malaking tulong din yung text eh. Kasi pag nagtetext kayo parang may sariling mundo ka and parang kinikilig and parang nakaka-add din siya ng kilig pag nakita muna siya in person. 

(For me, I’m for traditional courtship that has a hint of the millenial way. Because for me, texting is also a big help. Because if you text each other, it’s like you have your own world and you also feel those giddy feelings, and it adds to it when you see that person.)

Pero syempre yung ligawan, gusto ko idaan sa magulang, sa mga ate. Parang madami siya dadaanan bago sa akin.

(But of course when it comes to courtship, I want it to go through the parents, the sisters. It’s like he will go through a lot of people before me.)

“And gusto ko na friend ko siya, kilala ko siya pero gusto ko din nakikita yung effort niya na parang gusto niya ako and na bibisita siya sa bahay,” Maris said.

(And I want that he’s my friend, that I know him, but I also want to see his effort, like he really likes me and he will visit me at the house.)

Maris Racal. Photo by Martin San Diego/Rappler

Julia agrees with Maris’ statements.

I agree with Maris. Parang maganda yung traditional pero dapat casual lang, hindi yung ‘grabe ka sobra ka.’ Okay lang yung traditional and okay din yung how it is with our generation now kasi siguro the texting…nakakakilig siya talaga sa totoo langyung mga simple na kung ‘okay ka lang ba sa trabaho’… it means thoughtful yung guy. May pakialam siya sa nangyayari sa buhay mo.

(I agree with Maris. Traditional courtship is nice but it should be more casual, and not like ‘you’re too much.’ Traditional is okay and it’s also okay with what our generation is doing now because with texting, it’ll really get you giddy…like the simple ‘are you okay at work…’ it means the guy is really thoughtful. He cares what’s happening in your life.

“It’s also nice the traditional way kasi siguro makapamilya akong tao (because I’m a family-oriented person), so it’s nice na close yung guy sa family and sa friends ko. So both, it’s actually mixed.”

Julia Barretto. Photo by Martin San Diego/Rappler  

Vince and Kath and James hits theaters December 25. –

Alexa Villano

Alexa is one of Rappler's Lifestyle and Entertainment reporters, covering local entertainment news to a wide range of topics from beauty pageants to reality shows.