Written and directed by Chris Martinez, I Do Bidoo Bidoo: Heto nAPO Sila! does what Mamma Mia! did for ABBA and what We Will Rock You did for Queen.
A movie musical based on the songs of APO Hiking Society, I Do Bidoo Bidoo is a tribute to one of the most influential groups in Philippine pop music. It’s a story of life and love that, like the songs of APO, speaks to all people of all ages.
Rocky Polotan (Sam Concepcion) and Tracy Fuentebella (Tippy Dos Santos) are a young couple who decide to get married after an unplanned pregnancy. However, this decision is one they make on their own, and isn’t forced upon them by their families to cover up their indiscretion.
However, this doesn’t mean that their families won’t pose a problem in themselves. Rocky comes from a poor household, where his father Pol (Ogie Alcasid) is a one-hit-wonder composer and guitar teacher, and his mother Rosie (Eugene Domingo) runs a catering service for wakes at funeral parlors with her best friends, Lillibeth and Vicky (Frenchie Dy and Sweet Plantado).
On the other side of the spectrum, the Fuentebellas are hopelessly burgis. Tracy and her parents, Nic and Elaine (Gary Valenciano and Zsa Zsa Padilla), live on a vast hacienda with Tracy’s retired general grandfather (Jaime Fabregas).
The plot thickens when the families butt heads over competing and conflicting values and ideals that arise from the stark differences between their social classes. Chaos ensues, Pinoy-style.
Concepcion sheds his child star image and presents himself with a new kind of maturity in his portrayal of Rocky, though maintaining enough boyish charm to make his characterization relatable and believable. Dos Santos is a sweetheart, though there are times when her performance is carried either only by her co-stars or her pretty mestiza looks.
The film’s veteran singers, Valenciano, Padilla, and Alcasid all delivered their parts excellently, as expected for artists of their caliber. The chemistry between Valenciano and Padilla was awkward and felt forced. Alcasid and Domingo, however, were fabulous together.
Domingo‘s overall performance was stellar, making apparent the struggle and frustration of poverty while still maintaining her signature comedic timing. Fabregas is the perfect archetypal patriarch, and seeing him in this kind of role again is always a delight. Dy and Plantado work well together, though what they lacked was a sense of distinction that would make each more memorable as individual characters rather than simply as Rosie’s best friends.
The film is two hours long and is mostly composed of song numbers. The musical performances are masterfully and intelligently woven into the storyline and the songs actually push the plot forward, so there’s very little to complain about when it comes to length.
With its catchy, upbeat selection from APO’s repertoire, Martinez’s screenplay could have easily stuck with a safe and clean storyline. The rich girl, poor boy love story is a tried and tested one, but I Do Bidoo Bidoo provides a kind of commentary on the contemporary issues of teenage pregnancy and the disparity between social classes.
The film also touches on poverty, unemployment, parenting and even homosexuality. For a feel-good movie musical, I Do Bidoo Bidoo has a surprising amount of depth to it, one that is not forced or contrived.
The film had some loose ends that were given no particular justification, such as why the heiress daughter of a rich businessman would take up nursing in the first place.
The choice of nursing as a course also could have added another layer of social commentary, but aside from Rosie nagging Rocky to work on his applications for a job abroad, it was left largely unmentioned and unexplored.
Martinez’s direction left much to be desired as well, with weak transitions to musical numbers and shots that had unacceptably poor composition.
However, these details did not harm the overall impact of the film too much. I Do Bidoo Bidoo is a fun, wonderful film that is difficult not to love. It’s a charming, endearing movie, one that will leave a smile on your face and a song in your heart.