Movie review: ‘English Only, Please’

Movie review: ‘English Only, Please’

There’s something intriguing about “English Only, Please.” Like others, I’m wondering why its lead stars Derek Ramsay and Jennylyn Mercado were recognized as best actor and best actress during the recent 40th Metro Manila Film Festival awards night (the film bagged four other trophies).

Produced by Quantum Films led by Joji Villanueva-Alonso, the romantic-comedy movie will make you roll in laughter from the opening sequence. It begins with Filipino-American Julian Parker (played by Ramsay) interviewing job applicants over the Internet. The project? To have a letter that he wrote translated from English to Filipino.

WARNING: The coming part may contain spoilers:

Tere Madlansacay (Mercado) was selected for the job because of her impassioned impromptu translation of the letter, beating five other applicants with include a consummate DOTA player,  two experienced teachers, a transgender woman, and a young lady apparently more interested in cyber sex than anything else.

derek ramsay best actor
Derek Ramsay and Jennylyn Mercado of”English Only, Please” won the best actor and actress award during the 2014 MMFF Awards Night

With an applicant already selected, Parker decided to fly to the Philippines to meet Madlansacay, his tutor-translator. He, however, has another thing in mind, and that is to stalk and confront his ex-girlfriend, played by Isabel Oli (curiously, she appeared in just one scene in the entire movie).

Although he was initially reluctant to tell this to Madlansacay, he felt compelled to disclose this to her when he dragged her in a stalking escapade in a cinema.

It won’t be surprising at all if there are people out there who only learned about the movie AFTER the awards night of MMFF 2014. “We will have no TV spots at all but we will try to get some exposure,” Attorney Joji wrote in her Facebook page. However, the movie was able to capitalize on its biggest strength, which is relatability.

This concept suggests that it is essential for people to see themselves in what they are reading or watching, as in this case. That explains the popularity of everything from Eros Atalia’s “Ligo Na U, Lapit na Me” to Marcelo Santos III’s Internet superstardom.

I appreciate that the movie revolves on an uncomplicated story line with just two lead characters. Apart from Ramsay and Mercado, only three others had substantial speaking parts.

The movie covers the two typical reactions of people following a break-up. Some, like Julian, allow themselves to be consumed by anger and try to seek revenge against their ex. Others are like Tere, desperately trying to hang on to a former lover, denying the fact that the other person is already very eager to move on.

In the end, both Julian and Tere were able to put move forward from their failed relationships and start over again – this time in each other’s arms.

(Note: Please visit this link to read about the quotable quotes from “English Only, Please”!)

Verdict: I highly recommend this movie. it’s the perfect feel-good film to watch before we face all the stress of 2015. The amazing thing is, I initially cringed when my companion suggested as to watch this.  But look now. 😉


About Author



Mark Pere Madrona

The Filipino Scribe (TFS) is managed by Mark Pere Madrona, a multi-awarded writer and licensed professional teacher from the Philippines. Mr. Madrona earned his master’s degree in history from the University of the Philippines-Diliman last 2020. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in journalism cum laude from the same university back in 2010. His area of interests includes Philippine journalism, history, and politics as well as social media. Know more about him here:

3 thoughts on “Movie review: ‘English Only, Please’

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