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American Adobo

24 customer reviews

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1-Disc Version

Editorial Reviews

Set in New York City over the course of one eventful year, American Adobo, is a heart-warming comedy about five Filipino-American friends conflicted with their life choices and destinies, as they party away – sharing laughs, secrets, recipes, and lovers. Mike is a news editor in his early 40s who cannot reconcile the shallowness of his material existence with his activist past. Marissa is a beautiful but vain socialite who falls victim to her boyfriend’s sexual indiscretions. Marissa’s cousin Raul has all the charm and aggression of a Don Juan and seems to have a date not just with gorgeous women but also with destiny itself. Gerry is a closeted homosexual who bears the brunt of the struggle between his Roman Catholic mother and his HIV-positive lover. Finally, there’s Tere, an accountant in her mid-forties and still single, insecure about herself and her chances of finding love. American Adobo is a delicious treat for anyone with a family and a dream for the future. Together, these friends weave a uniquely American story about what it means to be an immigrant in a land where it seems everyone is searching for an identity.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Traci Ann Wolfe, Christopher De Leon, Dina Bonnevie, Ricky Davao, Cherry Pie Picache
  • Directors: Laurice Guillen
  • Writers: Vincent R. Nebrida
  • Producers: Charo Santos-Concio, Cindy Sison, John P. Adams, Kevin J. Foxe, Ruben R. Jimenez
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English, Tagalog
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Millennium
  • DVD Release Date: May 27, 2003
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008OSDN
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,077 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "American Adobo" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mario R. Festin on March 13, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is an interesting movie about Filipinos living in America, and how their living in a foreign country affects their lives. A group of thirty-something friends get together for a regular Filipino meal called "Adobo", and this becomes the focus for the various activities in their lives. One is a closet gay who has mother problems, a gigolo with a problem about a possible HIV infection, a woman who has relationship problems, among others. If you want to see who are among the best Filipino actors in the Philippines (Christopher de Leon, Ricky Davao, Dina Bonnevie, Cherrie Pie Picache, and with a bonus, Hollywood actor Paolo Montalban who is of Filipino parentage), watch this movie. Admittedly there are some references to other Asian and European films on food, but this is among the better made Filipino movies last year, by a woman director, Laurice Guillen.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Manny on September 14, 2003
Format: DVD
One of the things that many of the reviewers here tend to forget is that while this movie was intended to be for a wider audience, only Filipinos would be able to understand the film the way it should be. American Adobo is a film that stands on its own by being the only Filipino film to undertake two cultures and try to blend it as one.
The actors weren't horrible. The story was just like a lot of films today are - predictable. As for over acting, I can name several actors that are not Filipino that overact and yet are praised for it. Jim Carrey anyone? Mike Myers? Just to name a few.
This movie is worth a purchase, but if you were expecting an Americanized film, you will sorely be disappointed. I'm 21 and while my friends who did watch this film disliked it, many others thought it was well worth the watch. Just have an open mind. I did.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By AC on September 16, 2003
Format: DVD
I had high hopes for American Adobo. With a well-known cast & director, I thought that we Filipinos had something that can rival Eat, Drink, Man, Woman (one of my favorite foreign films). Sad to say, American Adobo was undercooked.

First, the food theme was not as effective as EDMW: I did not feel like rushing to my nearby Barrio Fiesta restaurant to order adobo (my husband & I went to a Chinese restaurant the night after we watched EDMW). Plus it never seemed like a unifying theme at all --- we are just told that by the characters saying, "no one can make adobo like Tere".

Secondly, the movie branches off into too many subplots, so I didn't feel that each individual story was developed enough. The comic scenes were too contrived, and only one made me laugh (when Gerry triumphantly snatches the misdirected mail from his mother's postman while she was too busy hugging him). As for the dramatic parts of the movie, Mike's daughter summed it up succinctly (I'm paraphrasing because I can't remember it verbatim): "Don't make a scene like one of those bad Filipino movies you & mom love to watch". Unfortunately, I don't think the director & some of the actors were listening. (What's up with Dina Bonnevie's over-acting in one of the scenes? She looked like a 3-year old having a tantrum instead of an emotionally devastated mature woman. Oh...was that supposed to be funny?).

A better movie about the Filipino-American life in the US is "The Debut". While "The Debut" may not be a perfect movie in itself, at least the experiences are more believable, the acting more realistic, and the direction is better. ...And it didn't make me cringe in embarrassment.

In summary, I thought I was going to see a refreshing Filipino movie that departs from the mired ways of movie-making in the Philippines. It turned out to be the same thing, only the location was different.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 18, 2003
Format: DVD
Centering around the lives of five close Filipino-American friends, each dealing with their own personal struggles, the film covers a wide variety of controversial topics while remaining tasteful and compassionate.
Many films while trying to introduce the audience to the characters tend to be a little slow and awkward, not this one. I found myself understanding and relating to the characters almost immediately.
With an exuberance at times almost frightening the viewer is transported on an emotional roller-coaster through the turbulent trials of each character's situations. From laughing hysterically at the absolutely ridiculous twists that take place to pondering deeply the most powerful of human emotions this film lifts and drops, twists and turns.
Do not worry about understanding or relating to Filipino culture...this film provides insight into the culture without being too alien for the non-Filipino viewer. Yes, subtitles are used at times, but the majority of the film is in English and when subtitles were used I found it very easy to continue to follow the dialogue without loosing any of the visual impact of the film.
If you do go to see this film, and I strongly suggest you do so, there are a few things you should be prepared for...
Be prepared to laugh...There are several absolutely hilarious scenes that still have me laughing just thinking about them.
Be prepared to cry...This film is very powerful at times and the struggles that the characters face will touch you.
Be prepared to will be presented with some very deep topics to ponder over on your way home and for days to follow.
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