May enough tawa/iyak/kilig ang ‘My Ex and Whys’ for your entertainment. Weak ang plot at stereotyical ang mga characters, pero kung kaya mong i-overlook ang mga ito, sulit na rin ang bayad sa tiket. It’s your typical, rom-com: walang bago, middle-of-the-road.
SYNOPSIS: Cali (Liza Soberano) is a blogger who owns the up-and-coming blog “The Bakit List.” She dreams of becoming a social media influencer. That’s why when an exchange with equally “mahugot” user @DahilListBoy goes viral, she seizes the opportunity of a lifetime, even if that includes meeting the person behind the mystery account. It turns out this boy is her ex Gio (Enrique Gil), who wants to get her back. Cali is determined to not let him win, so although an irresistible deal forces them to work together, she convinces herself to not trust Gio again. But how can she keep her walls up? How will she keep herself together when she starts asking her most important why: Why do you still love someone who’ve hurt you? (from the official website).
DIRECTOR: Cathy Garcia-Molina
WRITER: Jancy E. Nicolas, Gilliann S. Ebreo, Cathy Garcia-Molina
GENRE: Romance, Comedy
CAST: Liza Soberano | Enrique Gil | Joey Marquez | Ara Mina | Arlene Mulach | Ryan Bang | Cai Cortez | Joross Gamboa | Hyubs Azarcon | Neil Coleta | Jeffrey Tam | Karen Reyes | Dominic Roque | Kaiser Boado | Dayul Kim | Si Won Kim
Love story in the age of social media ang peg ng My Ex and Whys, ang latest offering ng Star Cinema featuring the #LizQuen love team. Tungkol ito kay Cali (Liza Soberano), isang call center agent na isa ring budding online personality dahil sa “The Bakit List”, ang kaniyang blog where she posts ang mga “bakit” tungkol sa love. Mostly nega ang mga tanong niya, especially when it comes to men. And with (supposedly) good reason: based ang hugot niya sa kaniyang ex na si Gio (Enrique Gil), who cheated on her.
Samantala, in love pa rin si Gio kay Cali at nang muli silang nagtagpo after so many years, Gio sets up his own blog, “The Dahil List”, para sagutin ang mga tanong ni Cali and to show how sorry he still is and how he wants her back. Naging patok ang kanilang sagutan/”tambalan” sa mga netizens, to the point that they get offered an endorsement deal. Dahil dito, they are forced to work together as professional as they can, while trying to sort out their feelings for each other.
As a Pinoy romcom, walang bago sa My Ex and Whys. It ticks off a checklist of the required elements: comedic sidekicks? Check. Drama (especially the family-driven one)? Check. Hugot lines? Check. Kilig? Check na check. And don’t get me wrong, in a sense, the movie actually did a good job sa mga elementong ito para maging enjoyable ang pelikula. Matatawa, maiiyak, at kikiligin ang mga manonood sa mga eksena where these emotions are called for. Add the fact na maganda ang mga scenes and overall camerawork dito (Korea! In autumn!), pati na rin ang acting ng lead and supporting actors (Ryan Bang, who plays Cali and Gio’s common friend, was especially good).
What this movie, lacks, though, is a strong plot. For a movie na may hugot lines, medyo mababaw ang pinaghuhugutan ng mga ito. Sinubukan kasi ng My Ex and Whys to dabble deeper into the millennial mindset by introducing the social media element, but all it did was to muddle Cali and Gio’s motivations. The movie may not mean it, pero it felt as if nakasalalay masyado ang patutunguhan ng kanilang relationship sa feedback ng kanilang online following. Halimbawa, may isang eksena kung saan may balak na entrapment si Cali kay Gio using a live video feed. It somehow plays on the stereotype na attention-seeking ang younger generation. Marahil may katotohanan dito, but it doesn’t sit well sa kabuuan ng pelikula, lalo na’t hindi ito na-explore nang mas malalim.
Speaking of stereotypes, Cali and Gio’s characters basically play a man-hating girl and a reformed playboy, respectively. That’s it. Umikot ang lahat ng elementong unang nabanggit sa itaas either para i-feed ang stereotypes na ito; the conflict even went to the usual “kayong mga lalaki” vs. “kayong mga babae” dramahan.
In the end, My Ex and Whys is just… okay. Hindi naman siya super time-waster, kung saan feeling mo sayang ang pera mo after. It’s not. Base sa mga emotions na pwede nitong i-invoke, may short term good vibes effect din naman ito, so to speak. But this movie is not meant to invoke something deeper. It doesn’t even try. ♦