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American Adobo
American Adobo
Actors: Traci Ann Wolfe, Christopher De Leon, Dina Bonnevie, Ricky Davao, Cherry Pie Picache
Director: Laurice Guillen
Genres: Comedy, Drama
R     2003     1hr 44min

Set in New York City over the course of one eventful year, American Adobo, is a heart-warming comedy about five Filipino-American friends conflicted with their life choices and destinies, as they party away ? sharing laugh...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Traci Ann Wolfe, Christopher De Leon, Dina Bonnevie, Ricky Davao, Cherry Pie Picache
Director: Laurice Guillen
Creators: Charo Santos-Concio, John P. Adams, Kevin J. Foxe, Ruben R. Jimenez, Steve Max Grenyo, Tess V. Fuentes, Vincent R. Nebrida
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Romantic Comedies, Love & Romance
Studio: First Look Pictures
Format: DVD - Color - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 05/27/2003
Original Release Date: 01/01/2001
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2001
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 44min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, Tagalog
Subtitles: Spanish

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Movie Reviews

Not overcooked
Miguel B. Llora | Bay Point, California USA | 12/08/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Habitus, according to Pierre Bourdieu, is the system of "durable, transposable dispositions, structured structures predisposed to function as structuring structures, that is, as principles which generate and organize practices and representations that can be objectively adapted to their outcomes without presupposing a conscious aiming at ends or an express mastery of the operations necessary in order to attain them. Objectively `regulated' and `regular' without being in any way the product of the organizing action of a conductor." (Bourdieu, 1993) In other words, we are not in control of our own cultural production, but I would like to add, we can be self reflective and articulate our productions. Food, by it very nature forms an integral part of the creation of a Habitus - in a way, despite its controlling characteristics, a Habitus also provides one with a sense of being "home." Sounds, sights and smells are all linked together to give one a sense of identity. American Adobo does nothing less than articulate it to us, the Filipinos and to others for their cultural consumption and hopefully illumination. True to its name, American Adobo tries to pack too many ingredients into one small pan. As a Filipino, I find the film to be a warm, good-natured ethnic comedy and like many others it is deeper than then what you would expect after the initial salvo. What is really nice about American Adobo is that it does not exoticize the Filipino culture, which a film like The Debut can at time be seen to do. The film is very entertaining, but it begins to lose itself as the melodrama takes over from its original comedic track. Inundated with clichés and stilted dialogue, American Adobo does offer a formulaic collection of cinematic issues surround movies of this genre at it explores issued surrounding marital status, sexual orientation, and ethnicity. The real highlight of the film is the insight into a cultural milieu heretofore ignored in mainstream cinema - even mainstream Filipino cinema. If there is a clear cut reason to buy, watch and keep this movie that would be one of them. For those in the cross cultural arena and area of interest, I recommend this movie highly. It is a keeper in every collection.Miguel Llora"
"Made for the masses" Filipino movie set in America
AC | Ventura County, CA, United States | 09/16/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)

"I had high hopes for American Adobo. With a well-known cast & director, I thought that we Filipinos had something that can rival Eat, Drink, Man, Woman (one of my favorite foreign films). Sad to say, American Adobo was undercooked.

First, the food theme was not as effective as EDMW: I did not feel like rushing to my nearby Barrio Fiesta restaurant to order adobo (my husband & I went to a Chinese restaurant the night after we watched EDMW). Plus it never seemed like a unifying theme at all --- we are just told that by the characters saying, "no one can make adobo like Tere".

Secondly, the movie branches off into too many subplots, so I didn't feel that each individual story was developed enough. The comic scenes were too contrived, and only one made me laugh (when Gerry triumphantly snatches the misdirected mail from his mother's postman while she was too busy hugging him). As for the dramatic parts of the movie, Mike's daughter summed it up succinctly (I'm paraphrasing because I can't remember it verbatim): "Don't make a scene like one of those bad Filipino movies you & mom love to watch". Unfortunately, I don't think the director & some of the actors were listening. (What's up with Dina Bonnevie's over-acting in one of the scenes? She looked like a 3-year old having a tantrum instead of an emotionally devastated mature woman. Oh...was that supposed to be funny?).

A better movie about the Filipino-American life in the US is "The Debut". While "The Debut" may not be a perfect movie in itself, at least the experiences are more believable, the acting more realistic, and the direction is better. ...And it didn't make me cringe in embarrassment.

In summary, I thought I was going to see a refreshing Filipino movie that departs from the mired ways of movie-making in the Philippines. It turned out to be the same thing, only the location was different."
Interesting Filipino movie
Mario R. Festin | 03/13/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is an interesting movie about Filipinos living in America, and how their living in a foreign country affects their lives. A group of thirty-something friends get together for a regular Filipino meal called "Adobo", and this becomes the focus for the various activities in their lives. One is a closet gay who has mother problems, a gigolo with a problem about a possible HIV infection, a woman who has relationship problems, among others. If you want to see who are among the best Filipino actors in the Philippines (Christopher de Leon, Ricky Davao, Dina Bonnevie, Cherrie Pie Picache, and with a bonus, Hollywood actor Paolo Montalban who is of Filipino parentage), watch this movie. Admittedly there are some references to other Asian and European films on food, but this is among the better made Filipino movies last year, by a woman director, Laurice Guillen."
Good, but not great.
manny819 | San Diego, CA United States | 09/15/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)

"One of the things that many of the reviewers here tend to forget is that while this movie was intended to be for a wider audience, only Filipinos would be able to understand the film the way it should be. American Adobo is a film that stands on its own by being the only Filipino film to undertake two cultures and try to blend it as one.The actors weren't horrible. The story was just like a lot of films today are - predictable. As for over acting, I can name several actors that are not Filipino that overact and yet are praised for it. Jim Carrey anyone? Mike Myers? Just to name a few.This movie is worth a purchase, but if you were expecting an Americanized film, you will sorely be disappointed. I'm 21 and while my friends who did watch this film disliked it, many others thought it was well worth the watch. Just have an open mind. I did."