Film

Film

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Simultaneously shameless and streetwise, acerbic and cloying, Mark Meily’s Crying Ladies strives for and largely achieves a hard-edged chick-flick aesthetic. Filipina singing/acting/product-endorsing workhorse Sharon Cuneta plays Stella, a down-on-her-luck Manila divorcée who, along with two equally desperate gal pals, hires on as a professional mourner at a Chinese funeral. Cuneta delivers an engaging, surprisingly coarse performance, considering her onetime Philippines-sweetheart status, and the subtle revelations concerning ritual and loss in Meily’s story serve her well. More judicious editing was surely called for, but Crying Ladies succeeds as first-rate melodrama.

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