26 March 2013 | gstepup
Gloria Romero charms her clumsy way into married life with the dashing Juancho Gutierrez
HANI-HANIMUN (1961) from Sampaguita Pictures is entertaining fluff about the travails of a hapless couple (Gloria Romero, Juancho Gutierrez) who elope and try to keep up house. From the opening credits where dashing Juancho (Gutierrez) buys flowers for Gloria (Romero), and upon his visit to the Immaculate Dormitory for Girls is mobbed by Romero's nosy and mischievous dorm-mates, to the trying-for-domesticated-life slapstick between the lovers, Tony Cayado's direction aims to make us laugh, chuckle, wince, shed tears, and rejoice at the happy ending (a prerequisite for Sampaguita Pictures stock).
Comic relief is amply provided by Dolphy, Panchito, and Bella Flores, while Lillian Laing adds to the already whimsical vignettes of married life. Dolphy and Panchito's scenes as gluttons are simply hilarious -- despite Romero's initial culinary failures.
The lines are blurred between make-believe and real life, because the lead stars act childlike and childishly, just as children would pretend to husband-and-wife in their games. Some of the classic scenes include Romero (only 28 when she made this rom-com, while Gutierrez was 29) trying to learn how to cook, and Dolphy earnestly answering the obstetrician's questions addressed to Romero.
All's well that ends well, and Romero and Gutierrez pick up valuable lessons about marriage, parenthood, responsibility, family ties and friendship. Romero surprised audiences with this change-of-pace role, heretofore playing virtuous maidens and prim-and-proper convent-bred colegialas. That the lead stars married in real life (1960) endeared them to audiences, and their occasional love-team made money (although Romero was really paired cinematically with Luis Gonzales, making some 30 films with him).