Categories
Menagerie

Rant and Rave: Flashbacks on Four Sisters Before the Wedding

The 2013 film Four Sisters and a Wedding wasn’t a smash hit because of its star-studded cast nor the memes it has spawned years after it premiered. By tackling themes of love, life, and family, the heartwarming tale was relatable for every Filipino who wanted to be reminded of home. With fans dying to know more about the Salazar family, it came as no surprise when a prequel was greenlit. 

Released on iWant TFC, Four Sisters Before the Wedding sets the story 10 years prior to the events of the original. We see the Salazar sisters—Teddie, Bobbie, Alex, and Gabbie—navigate the turbulence of love, pain, and acceptance, all while keeping their family afloat. With a film as beloved as Four Sisters and a Wedding, the challenge for any prequel is clear—recapture the same magic in a different way. 

Salazars in the house 

Fortunately, the Salazars are portrayed by an ensemble of seasoned veterans and talented newcomers. From their mannerisms to their looks, it almost feels as though we had really turned back time to meet the family.

Though Teddie (Charlie Dizon) and Gabbie (Belle Mariano) did justice to their respective roles, it was the stellar portrayals of Alexa Ilacad and Gillian Vicencio as Bobbie and Alex respectively that brought everything together. The original film sets up that the two sisters are polar opposites. Bobbie’s sophisticated demeanor perfectly contrasts Alex’s rebellious nature; this film, however, portrays them as best friends. Ilacad and Vicencio’s chemistry not only makes this believable but also natural. 

The supporting characters add to the film’s charm. Carmina Villaroel portrays Grace, the family matriarch, while Dominic Ochoa portrays Caloy, the other half of the Salazar couple. Both show their knack for playing parental figures as they govern the Salazar residence with firm grips but lovable quirks. Unfortunately, CJ, played by Clarence Delgado, only appeared in only a fraction of the film.  The same can be said for Cai Cortez as a young Toti Marie, Kakai Bautista as Susiebette, and Irma Adlawin as Grace’s mother, Ibiang with all three roles suffered from a lack of proper character development.  

Aba! What is the meaning of this?!

The film leans heavily on both visual and narrative callbacks; replete with Rebisco sandwich appearances, the origin of Bobbie’s pasalubong argument, and even allusions to Tristan Harris, Bobbie’s boyfriend-turned-husband. However, the meat of the film is in how it fills in the broad strokes of the pivotal moments that shaped the Salazar siblings to be the people we meet in the first film. We finally get to see Bobbie’s gradual alienation from her family and the insecurities that led Teddie to the unfortunate choices in her adult years. The juiciest morsel, however, is the subplot of Alex and Bobbie’s fallout over Chad. 

Although it is exciting to see the Salazar sisters through the lens of nostalgia, this gets old fast as several elements of the film fail to stick the landing. The movie made little to no effort in making the setting feel like it was really the early 2000s. With the minimal choice of year appropriate fashion to the obviously modern locations, the throwback element, sadly, only relied on the consistent mention of Nokia phones and the use of jakerker. 

You can do better

The film’s confusing structure also drags it down, its paltry attempt at screwball comedy not leaving much room for character development or for satisfying conclusions to the numerous subplots. The movie’s finale felt rushed and left more questions than it answered.

Even more glaringly obvious is its lack of an interesting storyline. The clichéd mistress plot fell flat, and although the audience might be invested enough in the cast and their portrayals of the iconic characters, a little more effort toward the originality of the storyline could have been made.

Although Four Sisters Before The Wedding rides on the coattails of its predecessor, Mae Cruz Alviar’s interpretation of the Salazar family is still a worthy follow up to the original. Capturing the original film’s essence gives it enough heart that viewers may overlook its faulty elements. It is undeniable that the movie knows what its strengths are, playing it safe with the same brand of slapstick comedy and tear-jerking moments that are staples in the Filipino movie blockbuster formula.  

Rating: 3/4

By Magz Chin

By Alexandra Simone Enriquez

Leave a Reply