SYNOPSIS: Stand-up comedy sensation Jo Koy (Jo Koy: In His Elements, Jo Koy: Comin’ in Hot) stars as a man returning home for an Easter celebration with his riotous, bickering, eating, drinking, laughing, loving family, in this love letter to his Filipino-American community.


Easter Sunday marks stand-up comedian Jo Koy first foray as a leading man in a feature movie. The half-white, half-Filipino comedian often tells jokes about his Asian mother if you have seen any of his Netflix stand-up specials or clips of his performances on social media. The guy is simply brilliant in his comedy shows although his very own movie outing we must say lacks the spark to tell a meaningful funny story.

Sort of playing himself but not, Joy Koy is Joe Valencia, a struggling comedian in Los Angeles whose agent is trying his best to secure a role for him in a sitcom. At the same time, single father Joe has to be with his family in Daly city for Easter celebration and tagging along is his son, Junior whom Joe has missed out on his school meeting earlier.

If you are expecting a Filipino version of Crazy Rich Asians or My Big Fat Greek Wedding, well the filmmakers seem to be at a loss as to what to do with Joe and his assortment of colourful relatives including his aunt, mom and cousins. The Kevin Kwan adaptation at least knows it is making a fantasy story about privileged and rich people in Singapore. Easter Sunday on the other hand stays so grounded and Americanised that it abandoned its Filipino roots shortly after the reunion.

For whatever strange reason, Joe is dragged into some petty crime involving a prized Manny Pacquiao boxing gloves by his cousin Eugene. Then they encounter a shady buyer played by Jimmy O. Yang, a mysterious man dubbed “The Jeweler” (yes that is Lou Diamond Phillips by the way) and a brief chase by a lady cop also ex-girlfriend of Joe, Vanessa (Tiffany Haddish).

Besides sharing some squabbling scenes and a cliched karaoke session, the talents assembled including Tia Carrere, Lydia Gaston are clearly wasted in the whole process. Easter Sunday has so much potential as a rowdy, dysfunctional immigrant family but the bulk of the movie is spent on something completely irrelevant to the main theme or should we say, functions like a rejected version of a Seth Rogen stoner comedy. This leads to Joy Koy for the most part fumbles with the sloppy script except for a church confession which makes good use of his talent. On the whole, a rather bland tribute to the America-Filipino community.


Review by Linus Tee



Genre: Comedy
Jo Koy, Tia Carrere, Brandon Wardell, Eva Noblezada, Lydia Gaston, Asif Ali, Joey Guila, Rodney To, Melody Butiu, Eugene Cordero, Jay Chandrasekhar, Tiffany Haddish, Jimmy O. Yang, Lou Diamond Phillips 
Director: Jay Chandrasekhar
Rating: PG13
Year Made: 2021



Languages: English
Subtitles: English
Running Time: 1 hr 36 mins