Filipino Comedy Classic ‘Crying Ladies’ Finally Lands On Netflix!

by Ernest Yap
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Almost 20 years after its release in 2003, the Filipino comedy classic “Crying Ladies” is finally available on Netflix!

“Crying Ladies” is Mark Meily’s first feature-length film, which tells the story of three women who are paid to cry at funerals. The plot revolves around three characters, one funeral, and a string of realizations.

The film stars Sharon Cuneta as Stella, Hilda Koronel as Aling Doray, and Angel Aquino as Choleng, who are hired as professional funeral mourners by a wealthy Chinese-Filipino family in Manila’s Chinatown while they deal with their own personal problems.

It also stars Eric Quizon, Ricky Davao, Julio Pacheco, Shamaine Buencamino, Sherry Lara,, and Raymond Bagatsing in supporting roles.

Its light approach to a dark subject is refreshing, and while death and the funeral ceremony are never made fun of, the plot and dialogue are full of wry humor, especially in the many references to “Darna and the Giants,” a 1974 horror movie in which Hilda Koronel, who plays Ailing Doray, was actually a part.

The movie stays true to the narrative that it wants to convey: a sad story about four families trying to heal from a lifetime of hurt.

Because of that, it won five major awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor for Eric Quizon, Best Supporting Actress for Koronel, and Best Child Performer for Pacheco at the 2003 Metro Manila Film Festival. It was also the Philippines’ submission to the 77th Academy Awards for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

It also won Best Cinematography from Gawad Urian Awards, as well as the NETPAC Award and Silver Crow Pheasant from Kerala International Film Festival in 2004.

“After twenty years, this classic is now on Netflix. And to all of you who have been part of this journey, whether you were the madre, the jeepney passengers or the driver, the funeral guests, the tambay sa tindahan crowd, etc., or the production team, this is your chance to see yourself again on screen,” Mark Meily posted on his Facebook account.

Are you excited to watch this Filipino class? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

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