When Kita Kita was released, its director only hoped that it can last long on the cinemas. It certainly did that and went beyond expectations grossing P200 million and counting and making “AlEmpoy” a thing.
Why did the film and its cast triumphantly exceed expectations? We list down the biggest factors behind their sensational success.
The leading man
Producer Piolo Pascual once said he wanted to play Tonyo. Can you imagine Piolo saying “Hindi ko nga pinagpapansin yung mga patay na patay na chicks sa lalawigan namin e,” and with that line alone, the whole cinema house erupts into laughter? Empoy Marquez may not be Papa P gwapo, but he has in himself a certain charm, that only the comedian owns. With his turn as Tonyo, Empoy did not let go of the funny man in him, but certainly stepped up from his usual sidekick roles.
Alessandra de Rossi has proven her mettle when it comes to drama with roles in award-winning films like Mga Munting Tinig and with playing the villainess in TV. It is a refreshing turn to watch de Rossi star in this romantic comedy. Playing Lea, according to de Rossi, is her lightest role yet. With her character going blind, Alessandra lets us see how easy it is to fall in love (especially if that someone is persistent and sweet).
The unusual tandem
Most of today’s box-office hits have been because of the popularity of its stars. Who would have thought that when you cast Alessandra and Empoy in a rom-com, the movie would be a big success? The script and the story made us all laugh and feel butterflies in our stomachs. But it was this odd couple of de Rossi and Marquez, the way they banter on screen and developed undeniable chemistry that made us all go kilig.
An OFW serves as a tourist guide to visitors of Sapporo, and with that we expect nothing but picturesque sites. This includes the Sapporo Clock Tower and Odori Park. However, as Tonyo asks for Lea to be his tour guide, we watch them fall in love in such wonderful places that includes the Flower Fields of Biei, Mount Asahi-dake, Mount Moiwa, Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, and the Otaru Canal. Who wouldn’t want to ring the Bell of Happiness after seeing this film?
The Japanese items
The Sapporo beer that keeps Tonyo company for a couple of weeks. The Daruma dolls that Lea, helped by Tonyo, paint its eyes on. The thousand origami paper cranes that Tonyo made for Lea, so that he can wish for her sight back. These are some of the popular Japanese items that were featured in the film, and also were, in a way, pivotal to the story.
The way the story is told
Girl learns of her boyfriend’s philandering ways, and new guy comes along to comfort her, and they fall in love. This might seem like a usual rom-com storyline; however the way director Sigrid Andrea Bernardo tells the story, first from Lea’s perspective and then from Tonyo’s, we understand how different it all is. Top that off with whimsical elements such as a slow-mo take of the lovers slurping some noodles and dancing along some tourist spots and it surely stands on its own.