Crying Ladies

Watch Crying Ladies

"A heart warming comedy"
  • NR
  • 2003
  • 1 hr 51 min
  • 6.7  (273)
  • 54

Crying Ladies, a Filipino comedy-drama film directed by Mark Meily, released in 2003, follows the story of three women who are hired to perform as professional mourners or “crying ladies” at a wealthy man's funeral. The movie is a social commentary with themes addressing personal and familial relationships, identity, and the harsh economic realities in contemporary Manila.

The lead actresses of the movie are Sharon Cuneta as Stella, her mother played by Hilda Koronel, and Angel Aquino as Choleng. Stella was a famous film actress in her younger years, but she now struggles to make ends meet. Choleng is a tomboyish, independent journalist, and writer. The premise of the movie evolves around the concept of “lamentadoras,” traditional mourners who weep and wail at wakes, funerals, and burials in the Philippines.

The women are offered a job by a wealthy businessman named Don Don, whose mother recently passed away. Don Don's mother was an admirer of Stella and paid for her documentary on the impoverished state of Mindanao. In return, Don Don wants Stella to “perform” at his mother's funeral as a crying lady to repay the favor. Unbeknownst to them, the wealthy businessman has a wife named Loretta, who opposes the idea of hiring crying ladies. She sees it as an insult for her mother-in-law, a billionaire and philanthropist of many organizations, to have a paid performance at her funeral.

As the three women take on the job, they face unexpected challenges and uncover truths about themselves, their families, and their relationships with each other. The story takes us through the emotional rollercoaster the women find themselves in, as they come to terms with the harsh truths of their existence. For Stella, it’s about re-discovering her artistic talent, which she let go of twenty years ago. For Choleng, it's about finding balance in her relationships and coming to terms with her identity. And for Brenda, it's about coming to terms with her deceased father's infidelities and how it affected her family.

Crying Ladies covers many subjects that are universal: family problems, poverty, politics, love, and loss. The movie delivers an honest assessment of Philippine culture and tackles class struggles, sexism, and identity issues by using comedy effectively. The performances by the lead actresses were remarkable. Sharon Cuneta, one of the most famous actresses in the Philippines, delivers a perfectly nuanced portrayal of Stella, the washed-up has-been actress. Hilda Koronel is a standout as the stoic mother of Stella, giving a subtle and moving portrayal of a mother looking for meaning in life. Angel Aquino is equally noteworthy and adds a refreshing take on Choleng, a tomboyish feminist that is rarely seen in Philippine cinema.

The movie's plot is well-paced and never drags, with its running time clocking in at 120 minutes. The film’s cinematography is also notable, as it provides an accurate depiction of the bustling city of Manila, capturing the city’s different social strata that intersect with one another. The movie's soundtrack is composed of an eclectic mix of original compositions and local songs, which perfectly complement the overall mood and tone of the film.

Crying Ladies is a heartwarming, honest movie that provides a glimpse of the Philippines and its challenges. It's a profound and touching commentary on different themes that are relatable and personal, providing a powerful message about what it means to be human. The movie's central message is relevant and powerful: even in the darkest moments of life, you can still find hope, meaning, and connection to others.

Crying Ladies
Crying Ladies doesn't appear to be available from any streaming services.
Add this movie to your Watchlist to get notified when it's available.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 51 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.7  (273)
  • Metascore