Supporting performances add to teen flick’s luster | Inquirer Entertainment

Supporting performances add to teen flick’s luster

/ 12:10 AM November 17, 2014

SMOKEY Manaloto’s driver-sidekick role has a droll and textured backstory. VIDEOGRAB

SMOKEY Manaloto’s driver-sidekick role has a droll and textured backstory. VIDEOGRAB

“Relaks, It’s Just Pag-ibig” is obviously meant to be a starmaking showcase for its three teen leads, Iñigo Pascual, Sofia Andres and Julian Estrada, but it also turns out to be quite a vibrant venue for some of its supporting players to strut their thespic stuff.

Alessandra de Rossi plays “only” a cameo character in the flick by Antoinette Jadaone and Irene Villarama, but she scores high marks on point of felt and feisty characterization.


She plays a woman who’s tearfully trying to tape back together the pieces of her broken heart, no thanks to the faithless louse who junked her after eight years of togetherness, in favor of a downright ugly gal (Oh, that hurt!).


What makes Alessandra’s portrayal exceptional is its judicious mix of pain and “inadvertent” comedy. Her stint on-screen is over all too soon but she’s among the elements we remember after the film is over.

Also on the up-and-up is Smokey Manaloto’s portrayal of Iñigo’s driver-sidekick, a role that the character actor savvily turns into more than just the usual sidekick shtick. Thanks to a droll and textured backstory, Smokey scores points even away from Iñigo—no mean feat in the generally star-centered production.

A third supporting characterization that adds to the movie’s fun factor is that of the middle-aged gay beauty pageant contestant who rescues Iñigo and Sofia from ending up as a ferocious dog’s midnight snack. Le Chazz, the actor who portrays the would-be beauty queen is not just a sassy comic, but a good “character” singer as well, and his musical number is one of the film’s highlights.

However, even the fine supporting performances contributed by Alessandra, Smokey, Le Chazz and the other standouts in the cast are trumped by the hilariously idiosyncratic portrayal turned in by Ericka Villongco as Iñigo’s first girlfriend Cupcake. Yes, that’s really her character’s name and the zany choice of moniker quickly establishes the loopy sort of weirdo that she is.

To her everlasting credit, Ericka doesn’t “fight” the spaced-out loopiness of the character she’s assigned to play, but embraces its many silly possibilities, including a self-consciously

ERICKA Villongco is absolutely ruthless in making themost of her role’s zany possibilities.

ERICKA Villongco is absolutely ruthless in making themost of her role’s zany possibilities.

“stateside” way of talking, icky-poo sensibilities, hot and high airs, two-inch-long fake eyelashes, five-inch-tall high heels—the works!


The total package is the height of unintended and intentional comedy, and the film’s directors should be praised for the spot-on casting.

However, most of the credit should go to the relatively new actress herself because she’s not only good at creating her character, but is also absolutely ruthless in making the most of her role’s zany possibilities—even if the joke’s on her!

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With all these exceptional supporting portrayals sharing the movie’s focus and screen time with them, the production’s three young leads have to work extra-hard not to be upstaged by their feistily viewable coactors. Do they in fact succeed in maintaining their lead status, despite the “supporting” cast’s yummy distractions? The lowdown on that—next time.

TAGS: “Relaks, Alessandra De Rossi, Cinemas, Entertainment, Iñigo Pascual, It’s Just Pag-ibig”, Julian Estrada, Smokey Manaloto, Sofia Andres

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