The movie, American Adobo, started off very nicely and the engaging character buildups were encouraging. The actors seem very relaxed and they all seemed to handle their craft very well. However, as the plot starts to turn into the conflict phase, the movie instantly dives into some tearful, very-"Filipino"-like, melodramatic excursion. Ironically, during the movie, Christopher De Leon's daughter, while being reprimanded, reminded him not to turn their conversation into some "Filipino"-movie variety. The director should have also taken heed. While the professional presentation (probably due to its international release) was noteworthy, the same components of most Filipino dramas was alive and unfortunately rooted in too much emphasis on the tearjerker approach, and add to that some untimely political and socio-religious moralities. This kind of annoying manipulation sends wrong messages and somehow promotes agendas that were totally not needed in the movie. Chistopher De Leon gave a somewhat commendable performance but the rest of the cast seem too rigid and too mechanical. Paolo Montalban was thrown in the cast to warrant the movie's parental guidance viewing and his character seemed superficially unexplored beyond his dealings with the afterthoughts of possibly contacting AIDS. Cherry Pie Picache typifies the overtly emotional and over-acting 'masochist'. Her character (and Ricky's) were the central figures but she leaves us with an unsatisfied feeling, probably due to her uneven and 'pitiful' performance. Dina Bonnevie's relationship almost seemed a distraction since her dealings with infidelities bordered on the common day-to-day and her acting needs work and polishing. Ricky Davao's tale was intriguing but the movie seemed to revolve too much around the homosexuality and AIDs issue that we are tied too much to his personal demons without knowing his real character. Gloria Romero's emotional outbursts, while heartfelt, was a bit strained and too 'sentimentally-syrupy'. The best part of the movie was when Christoper De Leon and Ricky Davao were driving and talking. Unfortunately, there were not more of this - there were too many trite conversations, unneeded banterings, and unrealistic discussions. Why can't they just talk like normal people instead of trying so hard to impress us with their over-the-top chit-chat. A couple of haunting shots were the two scenes with the Twin Towers in the background - one scene with Cherry Pie and Dina talking, and the other scene right at the end of the movie, which shows the new restaurant and the towers. I expected a lot from this movie and I felt it was dissapointing and 'bland' to say the least.