Five reasons why “No Other Woman” is a huge hit

Natashya Gutierrez

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MANILA, Philippines — I have not watched a Filipino film in theaters in a long time. 

After having lived outside of the country for five years, I haven’t had the chance to watch a Pinoy flick in the comfort of a cinema. So when Mom suggested we watch one in a recent mother-daughter date, I excitedly agreed.

That movie is now reportedly the top-grossing Filipino film of all time.  

The cast of “No Other Woman” celebrated their Victory Party last October 5, 2011 and Twitter is floodingwith raves for the film and congratulations for the movie’s stars.

Cast of "No Other Woman"

Here are 5 reasons why “No Other Woman” has broken box office records:

There is no stopping Anne Curtis

When I first came home from the States a few months back after being gone for a year and a half, one of the first things I noticed — alongside the traffic I forgot was horrendous and the stiflingly humid weather — was the overwhelming presence of Anne Curtis. She was, quite literally, everywhere. On billboards, TV commercials, the back of a bus… Anne endorses everything from residences to shampoo, quite frankly, because she sells. She sells because she cuts across all social classes. From the masses to the uber-wealthy, Anne has perfected the classy but approachable, sexy but sweet image that makes her appeal all-encompassing. She was the first Filipino celebrity to reach one million followers on Twitter, and is on her way to reach the two million mark. Anything Anne touches turns to gold, and well, she touched “No Other Woman.”

Filipinos can relate

The Philippines is characterized by a macho culture. Historians believe that it is a product of years and years of colonialism, one that has caused men to feel the need to reassert themselves in various ways. The film about a husband cheating on his perfect wife with a smoking hot other woman is a story that many Pinoys can relate to. As a friend of mine said, “Many Filipinos can identify with the story because they have been in the same situation — either as the mistress, the wife or the husband.” By no means am I saying all Filipino men are unfaithful, but whether you’d like to admit it or not, adultery and cheating are constant problems faced by women, and many argue, even more by Filipina women. The fact that the Philippines is the only country in the world that legally prohibits divorce doesn’t help, but movies like these do – at least in comforting Filipinos who have found themselves in similar circumstances because hey, they justify to themselves, extra-marital affairs happen.

Stereotypically Pinoy

Filipinos like happy endings. They only like happy endings. They will not accept anything less than the good people winning, and everyone must become friends even if it seems impossible in real life. Filipino films are at once dramatic but funny, there are a lot of close-up shots of actors crying, and someone always gets into a car accident. Check, check, check. And it worked. “No Other Woman” has all this and more. 

It also has the stereotypes that are must-haves for any successful Pinoy film. The hard-working, good-looking husband who means well but is lured into temptation. The innocent, kind, forgiving wife who is kawawa, but eternally loving. The wealthy, attractive temptress who’s a maldita but has a soft, vulnerable side. The forever supportive best friends of these characters, and the in-laws and parents who are strict and judgmental, and who always walk around with their eyebrows raised because they are not pleased with their children. And of course, the character who used to be jologs but is now eat-your-heart-out rich. Carmi Martin was a hit because she nailed this role, a woman who married into class but still reeks of street sass. Her movie lines are scattered all over the internet, the most famous one being,  “Ang mundo ay isang malaking Quiapo, maraming snatcher, maagawan ka, lumaban ka!” Oh, the portrayal of the nouveau-riche. You just had to love her.

Good Girl Christine Reyes

Christine Reyes admitted in an interview with Bandila that she herself was surprised that she was cast as the good wife and not the mistress. The sexy actress, like most Filipinos, is used to seeing Christine in a different light — that of the other woman, she said. She has gotten much press in the past for being outspoken and frank, to the point of being abrasive, and she has proudly acknowledged her strong personality. Christine is also widely known as the woman who current boyfriend Rayver Cruz left ex-girlfriend Sarah Geronimo for. Rumors surrounded the love triangle with her as the third party, but despite contrasting reactions from fans, Christine stood her ground and stuck by her man. Seeing her in the role of the helpless wife was refreshing for audiences who follow showbiz, and for others, they imagined Christine fighting for her husband in the movie the same way she fought for Rayver in real life. Actors who step out of the box and take on roles unfamiliar to the people attract attention, and apparently, when they deliver, top movie charts.

Social Media, the ultimate driver

While there may have been other similar movies in the past — with the same set of characters and storyline — no one can deny the power of social media in fueling “No Other Woman” to the peak of the list of top grossing Filipino films. Social media is a recent phenomenon, and it is powerful. The movie has been a topic of conversation online for the past weeks with tweeters sharing their thoughts on the internet after seeing the film. Those who had not cared to watch the movie are suddenly intrigued and well, who doesn’t want to be part of the conversation? Tweets from celebrities promoting and congratulating their friends who featured in the movie, as well as tweets from the movie’s stars themselves can’t hurt either. Anne reacted to the news of the movie’s success by tweeting, “Thank you to everyone that watched “No Other Woman” it’s because of YOU our movie is now the highest grossing Filipino film of all time. Maraming salamat sa pagsuporta ng pelikulang pilipino!.” Christine too tweeted her happiness, praising God in the process. The effect? Cinemas should brace themselves for a second wave of moviegoers because I bet, after today’s tweets on the film breaking the ultimate record, Pinoys will flock to see it. 

What are you doing this weekend?

Follow the reporter on Twitter: @natashya_g

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Natashya Gutierrez

Natashya is President of Rappler. Among the pioneers of Rappler, she is an award-winning multimedia journalist and was also former editor-in-chief of Vice News Asia-Pacific. Gutierrez was named one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders for 2023.