Philippine Daily Inquirer

Jennylyn acts with the best of them

- Nestor U. Torre

FOR SOME seasons now, Jen-nylyn Mercado has been starring in a number of “budget” rom-com movies that have fared surprising­ly well at the box office. It started with “English Only, Please” with Derek

Ramsay, which turned out to be a “sleeper” hit. Her follow-up vehicle, Jun

Robles Lana’s “The Prenup” with Sam Milby, was about two strangers who meet on a plane and fall in love in New York.

Continuing to move up in the film world, Jennylyn was next paired off with Jericho Rosales in “#Walang Forever.”

In Dan Villegas’ film, Jen was cast as a popular scriptwrit­er, while Jericho turned out to be grievously ill, but love still found a way, contra mundum.

We made a mental note of Jennylyn’s costarring stint with

Jericho as a significan­t step up in her career, and felt that she was “ready” to act with even bigger male leads.

So, her new film (opening in May) with John Lloyd Cruz,

Cathy Garcia-Molina’s “Just the 3 of Us,” is a portent of even better and bigger things to come for her stellar career.

After all, not many actresses can “boast” of having costarred with the acclaimed likes of Jericho and John Lloyd, “back to back.”

Advance word on Jen’s new starrer is good, so we’re upbeat about its prospects on point of popularity and quality.

The proof is in the viewing, of course, but it isn’t likely that the two stars will pass up this opportunit­y to come up with an exceptiona­lly fun and significan­t production.

In “Just the 3 of Us,” Jen accuses John Lloyd of being the father of the child she’s bearing, which he denies to high heavens until—well, we’ll have to watch the movie next month to find out.

Jennylyn stands to gain a lot from her latest costarrer’s expected success, but it should also be a career-boosting move for John Lloyd.

Yes, he’s racked up more than his share of big hits, but this relatively smaller vehicle, which we can describe as a currently trendy “maindie,” is a relatively fresh and promising gambit for him.

It’s the more popular or populist expression of John Lloyd’s ongoing transition to “indie” mode, as represente­d by the rigorously artistic “Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis.”

That eight-hour-long opus proved a key point, but if his new film turns out to be a solid hit, it would boost indies and maindies’ popularity, which still has to be decisively establishe­d.

So, film buffs who want to help “smaller” movie production­s make their mark should go out of their way to patronize it. Its success would encourage producers to bankroll more of the same.

Thinking beyond this film, now that Jennylyn is on an indie and maindie stellar roll, what could she do next?

After costarring with Derek, Sam, Jericho and John Lloyd, she would do well to play her “Papa Piolo” ( Pascual) card.

In the light of her impressive portrayals, Piolo should be excited to work with her—and viewers would delightedl­y second the notion—and motion!

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