From Broken Lizard’s Jay Chandrasekar comes a comedy that portrays life in a Filipino-American family with all of the drama and hijinks that exists in all families. Starring Filipino-American comedian Jo Koy, Easter Sunday focuses on the religious holiday celebration by a Filipino family and presents the many emotions, and mistakes that can happen when a “prodigal son” finally comes home to visit. Featuring a good amount of Koy’s comedian friends and colleagues, Easter Sunday definitely has its hilarious and moderately amusing moments; however, a transparent and predictable definitely holds this movie back from becoming something exceptional.
Koy stars as struggling stand-up comedian Joe Valencia. Though he manages to score a high profile commercial for Budweiser, Valencia can’t seem to get his big break into either television or film roles. After an awkward and problematic audition for a character on sitcom, Joe’s career remains in limbo. At the same time, Joe’s mother Susan (Lydia Gaston) wishes that her son will come home and visit her and the family during their Easter Sunday celebration. At the same time, Joe needs some quality time with his estranged son Junior (Brandon Wardell) and forces him to come along.
Though I am sure that a lot of the scenarios in the movie are very relatable to all families, particularly Filipino-American families, the fact that the plot is so obvious definitely takes away from the overall experience. Written by Ken Cheng and Kate Angelo, Chandrasekar’s movie just doesn’t offer audiences anything original or striking to really demand mass appeal. That is not to say I absolutely hate this movie, because I do not. There is enough humor by the talented comedians and solid supporting cast members to make the experience enjoyable.
The inclusion of comedians, along with Koy, is a good choice, because their talents for improvisation work their wonders in this movie. In addition to Koy, the movie features performances by Tiffany Haddish, Jay Chandrasekar, and Jimmy Yang. Also starring in the film are Lydia Gaston, Tia Carrere, Asif Ali, Eugene Codero, and several others. All of whom perform soldly to varying degrees.
Though Easter Sunday is opening in theaters this weekend. My recommendation is to wait until the movie is available for rentals or streaming. It is an enjoyable and often charming family movie, but is also has several shades of familiar material.