An Honest Review Of 'The Panti Sisters'

It was naughty and funny, but lacking in substance.
PHOTO: The Panti Sisters/Black Sheep

The Long Plot, Sans Spoilers

Don Emilio Panti (John Arcilla) hates that his sons, Gabriel (Paolo Ballesteros), Daniel (Martin del Rosario), and Samuel (Christian Bables), are gay, and wants nothing to do with them.

But when Don Emilio learns that he has cancer and can pass away anytime, he calls the three back home and challenges them to give him grandsons. In exchange, he will give each son P100 million, and if only one son can do it, that son receives the full P300 million inheritance.

The Panti sisters devise outrageous plans to find girls who would be willing mothers to their future children.

The Short, Honest Plot

To get their huge inheritance, three gay siblings hatch crazy plans and get themselves into hilarious situations trying to give their father a grandchild.

The Main Actors And Where You Last Saw Them

Paolo Ballesteros as Gabriel/Gabbi

Paolo Ballesteros was last seen in Born Beautiful, the sequel to the commercially successful and critically acclaimed 2016 Metro Manila Film Fest (MMFF) entry, Die Beautiful. He is also a regular co-host on Eat Bulaga!

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Christian Bables as Samuel/Sam

Christian Bables was last seen in the teleserye Halik. His last movie was Signal Rock, also an entry to the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP) in 2018, for which he won Best Actor. Christian's breakout role was as Barbs, best friend of Paolo Ballesteros' Trisha, in Die Beautiful. Christian won his first acting awards with Die Beautiful—as Best Supporting Actor in the MMFF Awards and Gawad Urian.

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Martin Del Rosario as Daniel/Dane

Martin Del Rosario was last seen in the movie Born Beautiful, where he played Barbie, replacing Christian Bables. He is now part of the GMA-7 teleseryeThe Gift, starring Alden Richards.

 

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John Arcilla as Don Emilio Panti

John Arcilla was last seen in the 2019 horror movie Second Coming with Jodi Sta. Maria and Marvin Agustin. He is also a regular in the long-running teleserye, Ang Probinsyano.

 

Carmi Martin as Nora Panti

Carmi Martin was last seen in the movies Ang Dalawang Mrs. Reyes with Judy Ann Santos and Angelica Panganiban, and Harry and Patty with Kakai Bautista and Ahron Villaflor. She was also part of Ang Probinsyano.

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Rosanna Roces as Vilma

Rosanna Roces was last seen in the ABS-CBN afternoon drama, Los Bastardos. She is now part of the cast of another afternoon drama, Pamilya Ko, with JM de Guzman, Arci Munoz, and Sylvia Sanchez.

 

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Joross Gamboa as Zernan

Joross Gamboa was last seen in the blockbuster movie Hello, Love, Goodbye with Kathryn Bernardo and Alden Richards.

 

Roxanne Barcelo as Joy

Roxanne Barcelo was last seen in the 2018 comedy, Abay Babes, and the afternoon drama, Wildflower, with Maja Salvador.

 

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Via Antonio as Chiqui

Via Antonio was last seen in the 2019 rom-com, Last Fool Show, with JM de Guzman and Arci Munoz.

Did You Know?

1. The Panti Sisters is the biggest commercial success of this year's PPP. As of September 19, it already earned a whopping P103 million in ticket sales and some cinemas are still showing the movie! This is quite a feat because last year, the top-grossing movie, The Day After Valentine's, only got P67.5 million. Also, the eight movies from last year's festival, including The Day After Valentine's, earned a total of P122 million by the end of the festival's run.

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2. The movie also won a few trophies in this year's PPP Awards Night—Best Production Design and Audience Choice. Martin Del Rosario also picked up the Best Actor award for his role in The Panti Sisters.

3. The Panti Sisters director Jun Lana is also responsible for memorable LGBTQ+-themed films like Die Beautiful, Ang Dalawang Mrs. Reyes, and Bakit Lahat ng Gwapo may Boyfriend? Jun is also the youngest Palanca Hall of Famer having won 11 Palanca Awards for Literature.

What My Friend Thinks:

"The movie is a riot, full of naughty and clever punchlines. Lightly talks about LGBTQ+ acceptance in our society and makes you think beyond the norm. You'll walk out feeling like you had a lively and witty banter with friends." —KZ Macam

What I Think:

I watched The Panti Sisters after a particularly busy and stressful week at work and had no regrets after, even if I ended going home at close to midnight on a weeknight. The movie made me laugh out loud for most of the film. It's naughty, irreverent, funny, and just a lot of fun to watch.

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I wish it had more substance though. I watched Die Beautiful in 2016, Deadma Walking in 2017, and Ang Dalawang Mrs. Reyes in 2018 and consider those three films to be the standard when it comes to modern comedies tackling LGBTQ+.

For me, the measure of a good movie is if you walk out of the cinema thinking about it or figuring out your feelings about it. Unfortunately, there was no thinking or feeling that happened after I watched The Panti Sisters. Maybe it was the producers' intention to keep it light and feel-good. It's just a shame because it could have made a bigger impact on viewers if it had a stronger message and a more solid storyline.

I also wish that the characters of the Panti sisters were more developed. I felt like there were a lot of gaps and the characters ended up to be stereotyped. The most developed character for me was Sam's character, played by Christian Bables. He was definitely the star among the sisters for me. He and his "baklang kanal" character made the most impact.

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Paolo Ballesteros' performance was pretty good, but I was expecting more. Maybe he just didn't have a lot to work with and that's probably why he came up a little short. Martin was great as Dane and I understand why he bagged the PPP Best Actor award. He was solid and consistent as the "mahinhin" K-Pop fan.

While the characters and story were lacking, this movie wins in the looks department. Paolo, Christian, and Martin were gorgeous when they turned into their drag queen personas. Paolo was regal and beautiful when she became Gabbi. Christian had a naturally feminine-looking face so it was easy for him to turn into the tough Tondo girl, Sam. Martin's Dane character, however, was the prettiest of them all.

The supporting cast also contributed to the laughs. John Arcilla as the strict homophobic father played his role well. Carmi Martin and Rosanna Roces had their moments, too, although I also wish their characters were more developed. Roxanne Barcelo, Joross Gamboa, and Via Antonio also had memorable scenes.

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All in all, this is a funny, fun, and light movie which I'll probably watch again once it hits Cinema One or one of the streaming apps, just for a good laugh.

I'd Recommend It To:

Anyone who needs a good laugh. This is Vice Ganda-type of funny so if you need to let off some steam, this movie is for you.

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