Follow TV Tropes


Film / Four Sisters and a Wedding

Go To

Four Sisters and a Wedding is a 2013 Filipino comedy-drama film directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina.

When their youngest sibling and only brother CJ (Enchong Dee) announces that he's getting married to his girlfriend of four months in two weeks, the Salazar sisters all rush home and plan to stop the wedding, since they don't believe that they are truly compatible. However, it doesn't take long for their reunion to expose the cracks in their familial and personal relationships and threaten to bring long-simmering issues to the surface.

Oldest sister Teddie (Toni Gonzaga) has to hide that she was fired from her teaching job in Spain and now works dual jobs as a waitress and a maid to send money home to her family. Sophisticated second sister Bobbie (Bea Alonzo) has a high-paying job in New York, but isn't quite ready to take the next step with her boyfriend Tristan (Sam Milby), in part because rebellious third sister Alex (Angel Locsin), an indie filmmaker, is still dating the ex-fiance Bobbie left behind when she went to America. Sensible youngest sister Gabbie (Shaina Magdayao) just tries to keep a handle on everybody else and stop the meddling from getting out of hand. Naturally, hilarity — and some lighthearted commentary about Filipino family dynamics — ensues.

The film got a prequel-sequel in 2020 titled Four Sisters Before the Wedding. A few years after the first film, the siblings remember an incident in their youths in which they attempted to stop their parents' marriage from crumbling.

Four Sisters and a Wedding contains examples of:

  • Bilingual Dialogue: As is commonplace for middle-class Filipinos who grew up in or near Manila, all the characters freely and frequently codeswitch between Filipino and English in conversations.
  • Black Sheep: Alex, who is academically the least successful and has the surliest and most rebellious personality. She is outright called as such by Jeanette.
  • Dysfunctional Family: The Salazars. While the siblings all love each other, their issues with each other and their own problems tend to overshadow it.
  • Ensemble Cast: Screentime and focus are split between the titular four sisters.
  • Family Disunion: CJ's upcoming wedding brings all four of his sisters home, resulting in a lot of messy interpersonal reactions.
  • Family Theme Naming: The four sisters have Gender-Blender Nicknames.
  • Happy-Ending Massage: Milked for all the comedy it's worth. The Bayags have a chain of male-only spas that promise "happy endings" to their customers; the sisters suspect that it's a cover for, if not prostitution, another illicit activity. Teddie goes to investigate; it goes awry when she calls the cops on Frodo's masseuse, mistaking the activity for something sexual — it turns out to be completely wholesome; "happy ending" means "happy thoughts".
  • Hidden Depths: Princess turns out to be a fantastic person, much to the annoyance of the sisters.
  • In-Series Nickname: All the siblings. "Teddie" is short for Teodora, "Bobbie" for Roberta, "Alex" for Alexandra, and "Gabbie" for Gabriella.
  • I Want Grandkids: Variation — Princess's dying grandfather wants great-grandkids, which is why she's marrying her new boyfriend so quickly.
  • Ivy League for Everyone: Although a Freeze-Frame Bonus of the siblings' achievements in their family home shows that all of them graduated from prestigious universities in the Philippines, Bobbie has a Master's degree from Columbia, which in a developing-country context shows how much more cosmopolitan and successful she is compared to her siblings.
  • Large Ham: Jeanette Bayag, Princess's mother, who says everything in a loud, vaguely European accent, has to have a Grand Staircase Entrance announced by a maid, and does everything with overbearing flamboyance.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: CJ and his four sisters.
  • Middle Child Syndrome: Third sibling Alex is the Black Sheep of the family. When the family all hashes it out later, it's outright stated that Bobbie and Gabbie get this too, since Grace focused more on Teddie (the eldest) and CJ (the youngest) while they were growing up.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: The prologue shows the sisters as children hoping for a baby brother before cutting to the present when they're all grown.
  • Meet the In-Laws: Portrayed when the Salazars go to meet Princess and her parents. The Salazars are instantly turned off by the Bayags' tackiness and the parents' condescension.
  • No Antagonist: The closest thing the film has to a villain is the rich, overbearing Bayags, but even they're more of parodies of standard Filipino rich villains, only really figure into Teddie's arc, and are still just looking out for their daughter. Much of the conflict is driven by the sisters' issues.
  • Nouveau Riche: The Bayags are tacky, overbearing, and overly condescending towards the middle-class Salazars, leading the sisters to conclude that they're recently rich.
  • Parental Favoritism: Teddie, the oldest, is Grace's favorite daughter, and she naturally favored CJ because he was the youngest and the only son.
  • Product Placement: For local biscuit company Rebisco, which is explicitly tied to some of the siblings' happiest childhood memories. The film was produced in conjunction with the company's anniversary.
  • Sibling Triangle: Alex and Bobbie's conflict is driven by Alex supposedly stealing Bobbie's boyfriend. This is later clarified to Bobbie breaking up with him before she left for America, and Alex dating him an offensively short amount of time later. According to Bobbie, they wouldn't have broken up if Alex wasn't in the picture.
  • Shotgun Wedding: The sisters wonder if CJ is marrying his new girlfriend so quickly because he knocked her up. It turns out to be because Princess's grandfather is dying and wants to see great-grandkids by her before he goes.
  • Unfortunate Names: The Bayags. "Bayag" is the Filipino word for testicle, leading to many jokes when Teddie tries to find dirt on them.
  • Wedding/Death Juxtaposition: CJ and Princess' wedding is abruptly cancelled because her grandfather died, and Filipino superstition discourages getting married if there is a recent death on your side of the family. At the wake, Princess' mother comments that all the wedding prep will go to waste. Bobbie decides to marry her boyfriend in the next scene.
  • Wedding Finale: The film ends with Bobbie marrying Tristan.
  • Winning Over the Kids: Bobbie is tasked with handling her boyfriend's daughter Trixie, with whom she doesn't get along.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Jeanette's overwrought accent, which is... just bizarre. Justified Trope, as it reflects her flashy Nouveau Riche attempts at sophistication.
  • Why Waste a Wedding?: In the end, CJ and Princess's wedding doesn't go through after Princess's grandfather's death because according to Filipino superstition, there can't be a wedding if there's a recent death on your side of the family. Bobbie instead takes the setup, lame "under the sea" theme and all, to finally marry Tristan.

Four Sisters Before the Wedding contains examples of:

  • Call-Forward: Linda Malvar tells Bobbie that her godson will help her out when she gets to America. Said godson's name? Tristan Harris, whom she wound up marrying in the first film.
  • Daddy DNA Test: Played With. Love asks for a DNA sample from Caloy. Because the sisters assume Love is their father's mistress, the audience then assumes Love is pregnant and wants to know if Caloy is the father. It turns out the DNA test was to confirm that Caloy is her uncle, because she wanted to know if his youngest brother was her father.
  • Foreshadowing: Love at one point mentions that she relates to not knowing who one's father is. She wanted a DNA sample from Caloy to confirm that Caloy's brother is her father.
  • Framing Device: The sisters are calling each other on Zoom to discuss their brother CJ's personal life. This is what prompts the flashback to a tumultuous time in their parents' marriage.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: A look at Teddie's full name on the Zoom call shows that her romance with Jeremy in this film goes nowhere, because she married Frodo Teodoro, her love interest in the first film.
  • The Ghost: CJ's ex-girlfriend Nicole (also mentioned in the first film as the unseen woman the family preferred over Princess) remains a Ghost here; she is only referred to in dialogue.
  • Like a Son to Me: Mrs. Malvar sees Caloy like a son, so she's horrified when accused of being his mistress.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: Zigzagged. The sisters' assumptions about their father cheating on their mother with either Mrs. Malvar or Love Mae are unfounded. But he did cheat with Mrs. Malvar's niece.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted with Linda Malvar and her niece Linda Jacinto. It allows the former to be a Red Herring; the sisters assume their father cheated with Linda Malvar when he actually cheated with Linda Jacinto.
  • Repetitive Name: As seen in the video call, Teddie's full married name is Theodora "Teddie" S. Teodoro.
  • Sibling Triangle: The film fills in more backstory to the Alex/Chad/Bobbie triangle seen in the first film. Alex began working on music videos and short films with Chad and developed feelings for him; however, Chad becomes smitten with Bobbie as soon as they first meet, which causes conflict between the sisters.
  • Unfortunate Names: Love Mae Tete, which the subtitles accurately transcribe as Love Mae Dick (as in penis). Chad prudently spells out her surname and Alex is horrified when she understands.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: The sisters' plan to sniff out their dad's suspected mistresses is laid out in detail so it promptly goes awry.
  • Uptown Girl: This film reveals the sisters' mother is the only child of a well-off family, while their father was a farmer's son. To this day their maternal grandmother disapproves of Caloy and their family's lower-middle-class lifestyle.
  • Wedding Finale: Like the first film, this one ends with a wedding: the Salazar parents marrying again to reaffirm their love for each other.