MANILA, Philippines – Vic Sotto is back with another Metro Manila Film Festival entry. This year, the veteran comedian traded in his Enteng Kabisote suit for Hawaiian dad shirts, as he took on the role of carwash manager-turned-Gruber-driver Ron Balatbat.
Meant to Beh tells the story of middle-aged couple, Ron (Vic) and Andrea (Dawn) Balatbat, who find themselves stuck in an unhappy marriage. Despite objection from their kids, they ended up living in separate houses, blaming their opposing personalities for the failed marriage. After Ron and Andrea start seeing other people, their kids, Christian (JC Santos), Alex (Gabbi Garcia), and Riley (Baste), devise a plan to get their parents back together.
This is Vic’s comeback movie. It may be unlike other Bossing movies we’ve seen in recent years, but his distinct brand of comedy is still as evident, perhaps even more so. Our taste in movies might have changed throughout the years but he’s been in the field far longer than any of his competitors. And by the looks of it, Vic still knows the formula to rake it in.
Here are 5 fun facts about Meant to Beh:
1. Meant to Beh is the reunion movie of Vic Sotto and Dawn Zulueta. Vic and Dawn last worked together in Okay Ka Fairy Ko almost 20 years ago.
“After some 20 odd years of working together, we just picked up from where we left off. He’s so much fun to work with. We’re always laughing when we’re together,” Dawn recalled during the press conference for the movie.
2. Meant to Beh is Dawn Zulueta’s first foray into comedy.
According to the actress, she has always dreamt of doing a comedy movie, but the opportunity never came. Since her return to showbiz in 2011, Dawn has done mostly drama and rom-com projects.
“I’ve just been dreaming na sana magkaroon ako ng (that there will be an) offer to do a full-blast comedy. So when this project came along, I was thrilled, especially because its gonna be with Bossing. The fact na naaala ako ni Bossing after so many decades, it’s great! I sure hope na kumita nang malaki para magka-part two tayo,” she said. (The fact Bossing remembered me after so many decades, it’s great! I sure hope that this movie will be a hit so there will a part two.)
While a few were surprised that she accepted the role, Dawn stressed the importance of versatility in her field.
“Being creative with everybody else [on set], it’s so energizing and I go home feeling like I reached another level of artistry. I know it sounds funny or corny pero (but) as as an actor kasi (because) we need to do different things. We can’t always just be the same. How many different ways can I cry? Doing comedy is something else. It’s a good break for me.”
3. The movie also marks Sebastian Benedict “Baste” Arumpac’s big screen debut.
Vic has been very impressed with Baste’s acting skills. Although the 5-year-old has yet to learn how to read, he was able to memorize his lines with the help of director Chris Martinez.
“He knows his alphabet, his numbers, pero [hindi] ‘yung basang diretso and considering all of those, considering ‘yung situation n’ya, good job siya dun. I was not expecting him to deliver na ganun katindi na… Ang maganda sa kanya naiintindihan n’ya na ito’y acting-acting lang hindi yung tipong bata na akala totoo yung nangyayari. He’s a very smart guy. He’s very talented. Ang galing n’yang kausap parang you don’t have to talk to him like he’s a kid, you talk to him like akala mo teenager na kung magsalita, he’s [a] very sweet guy.”
(He knows his alphabet, his numbers, but he’s not really reading straight, and considering all of those, considering his situation, he did a good job. I was not expecting him to deliver that well… What’s good about him is that he understands that this is just acting, not the like the kids who think that this is real. He’s a very smart guy. He’s very talented. He’s good to talk to, like you don’t talk to him like he’s a kid. He talks like a teenager. He’s [a] very sweet guy.)
4. Meant to Beh has stars from both ABS-CBN and GMA 7.
It’s rare for movies, especially MMFF entries, to cast stars from competing networks. In an interview, Vic revealed that they didn’t run into problems casting Daniel Matsunaga and Sue Ramirez, who are both Kapamilya stars. Dawn hoped that this would, one day, become the norm again.
“I think it’s exciting when actors are able to work together without boundaries because we are only divided because of the boundaries set by our contracts and I think it’s sad. It didn’t use to be that way,” she recalled.
“I came from an era wherein it was free for all; we could go anywhere and [be an on-screen] tandem with anybody now parang (like) you have limitations, nagkakahiyaan (they get shy)… It really shouldn’t be, because I think we all come from one industry and I remember once upon a time this industry was one big family.”
5. Meant to Beh is a “serious comedy film” – a genre Vic hasn’t done in a while. According to him, for this festival, he wanted to veer away from his usual fantasy setup, not because he thought it was overused, but simply because he wanted to offer something different yet relatable.
“I just wanted something new for the people, for the moviegoers, for the Filipino moviegoers. I just wanted change,” he said.
Although it’s a different genre, Vic still made sure to include everyone from the Eat Bulaga family.
“We’re family and ‘pag family kailangan kasama sila sa lahat ng kasiyahan. Kasama sila sa lahat ng bagay. Me, personally, I see to it na gusto ko kasama pa rin sila Jose [Manalo], JoWaPao [Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola, and Paolo Ballesteros], si Joey [de Leon], at that time was out of town, ‘di sya nakasama, but if you noticed, nandun silang lahat sa movie. Si Ruby [Rodriguez], si Jimmy [Santos], AlDub [Alden Richards and Maine Medoza]… Mas masaya eh, if you’re working with the family. As I’ve said, family is important.”
(We’re family and if we’re family, everyone should be there for the fun. All of them are part of everything. Me, personally, I see to it everyone is there Jose [Manalo], JoWaPao [Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola, and Paolo Ballesteros], Joey [de Leon], at that time was out of town. He was not there, but if you noticed, everyone else is there in the movie. Ruby [Rodriguez], Jimmy [Santos], AlDub [Alden Richards and Maine Medoza]… it’s more fun if you’re working with the family. As I’ve said, family is important.)
Meant to Beh is directed by Chris Martinez and opens on December 25 – Rappler.com
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