As a fan of Jo Koy, I have been excited about Easter Sunday since first learning about it. Who doesn’t love a wacky family holiday movie?
Easter Sunday is about a man named Jo, he’s a divorceé as well as a father to a teenage son and is just trying to give him more than he ever had growing up. Jo is also an actor who is up for a life-changing role in a new sitcom. However, when his mother calls and guilts him into coming home to Daily City for Easter Sunday Dinner he gets more than just lumpia.
WHAT EASTER SUNDAY GETS RIGHT
The family in Easter Sunday is fantastic. You have everyone represented from siblings, to silly cousins, aunties, and feuding mothers. The standout for me is Jo’s mother played by Lydia Gaston. She is an absolute gem! Every scene she’s in is lights-out funny and relatable. It was fun seeing Tia Carrere (Waynes World) play a character whom I’m sure she was channeling a family member of her own.
Eva Noblezeda (Hadestown – Broadway) is a breath of fresh air that is desperately needed to wrangle some groundedness in this wacky world. While also smacking some sense into the winey son trope.
Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip) and Jimmy O. Yang (Love Hard) bring their comedic expertise to add some laughs that are desperately needed throughout the film. And, of course, Lou Diamond Philips kills it as himself.
WHERE EASTER SUNDAY DOESN’T RESURRECT
I really wanted to like Easter Sunday. When the story focuses on Jo and his family you can see the skeleton of what could’ve been a fantastic script and film. However, there are so many side plot points that are wildly unnecessary that the heart of the film gets lost. What we’re left with is a muddy mess that isn’t sure what it wants to be.
There are plenty of fun references to Filipino culture. However, the film feels desperate to put the entire community on Jo Koy’s shoulders by throwing the kitchen sink into it. It watches as if there will never be another film like this again. The script definitely could have another once-over to cut the fat and focus on the story they’re really trying to tell about this incredible family.
Every side moment is incredibly surface level. If you’re going to hint that Jo lived a darker life in Daily City – give it to me. His son needs to go on a journey of discovering who his dad is in order fully realize where he comes from and how much Jo does for him. The lack of focus and depth leads to a mediocre film, that is bogged down.
Easter Sunday is now playing in theaters.