Episode 172 – A TFAL Review of ‘Easter Sunday’

In this TFAL episode, we review the much-anticipated film Easter Sunday, the first Filipino American film produced and distributed by a major movie studio. Three out of the four of us were lucky enough to catch an early screening of the film at the TCL Chinese Theaters in Hollywood thanks to Gold House, the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE), and Tremendous Communications.

Listen as Elaine, Ryan, and Joe discuss what it took to get the film made, what we loved about the film, what we thought wasn’t so great, the nitpicks we had, and the film’s impact on future Filipino American movies. And of course, listen to Producer Mike in his film school beret scoff at all of us for watching a film that will never live up to his standards.

Easter Sunday comes out in theaters nationwide on August 5.

Listen or download the episode on our website, find us on Mixcloud or subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Google, Spotify, or anywhere you listen to us podcasts.

What are your thoughts on ‘Easter Sunday’? Leave us a voicemail and let us know 805.394.TFAL or email us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com.


About the film:

Joe Valencia (Jo Koy) is a struggling actor and single father to his teenage son, Junior (Brandon Wardell). For Easter Sunday, Joe and Junior attend a family celebration with their extended Filipino American family. With a feud developing between his mother (Lydia Gaston) and his Tita Theresa (Tia Carrere), Joe must manage his dysfunctional family’s antics in order to ensure the success of the family’s holiday.

3 comments on “Episode 172 – A TFAL Review of ‘Easter Sunday’

  1. Greg says:

    Hey! Greg here. I was listening to this episode and wondered what you meant when something is “PCN” in nature… I know it stands for Pilipino Cultural Night, yet I never went to any of those and only heard of them through my younger brother, who went to CSUN and hung out with a Fil-Am crowd in the ’90s. Please elaborate. Thanks for the review and keep up the great work!

    P.S. – I still wanna trade mixtapes with Mike sometime!

    1. thisfilipinoamericanlife says:

      Haha! Thanks for the comment, Greg. Over the years, PCNs became very formulaic – same plots, same jokes, same accents. One the most popular narratives is a coming of age story of a young Filipino American going on a journey to discover their Filipino American identity. If you watched one, you’ve watched them all. =)

      1. Greg says:

        Ah ok, thanks! Haha I can only wish that I’d even seen *one* movie with that narrative. Btw—after you mentioned H.P. Mendoza and his film “Bitter Melon,” which you recommended as a good portrait of Fil-Am life and issues, I searched and found it on Vudu. I can’t even describe the impact it had on me; it was literally the first movie I’d ever seen focused on Fil-Ams and Fil-Am family life—and it was surprisingly accurate and revealing. It was bizarre to not only see Fil-Ams on screen, but to actually relate to them as well. I’d like to know more about the other movies you mentioned, namely “Lumpia” and one other (can’t remember the name)… anyways, whatever recommendations you have would be great!

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