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Easter Sunday

MOVIE | Despite its hopeful title, this film about a Filipino immigrant family is a missed opportunity


Ed Araquel/Universal Pictures

<em>Easter Sunday</em>
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Rated PG-13
➤ Platform: theaters
➤ S2 / V3 / L5*

Filipino comedian Jo Koy is a funny guy. His stand-up routines—which are not family friendly—contain insightful politically incorrect jokes about the Asian American experience. He often speaks fondly about the trials and joys of having a big family. His feature film Easter Sunday was supposed to capitalize on the humor that goes along with being part of a large immigrant family, but in the end the movie is a missed opportunity.

Koy plays a film version of himself named Joe Valencia, who struggles to make it in Los Angeles as an actor. Right before his big break, his Filipina mother guilts him into coming home for a big family gathering on Easter Sunday. In addition to going to church and dealing with family squabbles, Joe tries to build a relationship with his son, gets mixed up with his cousin’s shady business partners, and scrambles to keep his TV deal from falling through.

The movie showcases a predominantly Asian cast, and they deliver some entertaining performances. The scenes featuring Joe’s Filipino family are the best parts. The dynamics of large family gatherings can be quite funny. But the movie suffers from an unfocused script.

For a movie titled “Easter Sunday,” Easter Sunday didn’t have enough Easter. The story needed more about the family and more about what makes this holiday special to them. We get too many minutes of seeing Joe run from bad guys—a failed gimmick to raise the movie’s stakes. Easter Sunday also isn’t helped by Joe’s relatively blasphemous stand-up routine that he delivers in church at the request of his mother’s priest.

*Ratings from kids-in-mind.com, with quantity of sexual (S), violent (V), and foul-language (L) content on a 0-10 scale, with 10 high


Collin Garbarino

Collin is WORLD's Arts and Culture Editor. He is a World Journalism Institute, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Louisiana State University graduate, and he teaches at Houston Baptist University. Collin resides with his wife and four children in Sugar Land, Texas.

@collingarbarino

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