My Take on "My Ex & Whys"

 
 

I don't normally watch Tagalog films on the big screen, unless it's a movie like "Heneral Luna" or "Ma' Rosa". But last Thursday, February 16, I found myself inside Centrio Cinema 2 watching "My Ex & Whys", Star Cinema's Valentine offering that featured the LizQuen (Liza Soberano & Enrique Gil) tandem. I wasn't expecting much because I thought it was just another typical romcom movie (which I watch a lot of at home...hehehe). But, surprise, surprise! I had a lot of fun!    

"My Ex & Whys" is about blogger Cali and her ex-boyfriend Gio. Cali has a blog called "The Bakit List" and it is there where she pours out her woes about her failed relationship with Gio, who cheated on her. On her twitter account, @theBakitList, she dishes out one hugot line after another. Rather, she asks questions related to failed relationships and cheating (ex. "When you choose to love, dapat tapat. Kasi kung mahal mo, bakit mo sasaktan?"). Eventually, Gio finds her tweets and starts answering them, creating the account @DahilListBoy. Their online exchange becomes viral and they soon gain a lot of followers. Cali is approached by a new travel agency to become their online ambassador, but only if she agrees to work with Gio. This is where the real story begins.

Although "My Ex & Whys" follows a pretty much used up storyline of boy-meets-girl-then-cheats-on -girl-then-tries-to-win-her-back, it's a little bit different because it uses social media to tell the story. At some point, while watching Cali struggle to accept Gio back in her life (because she's afraid to trust again), you'll find yourself asking, "Do I allow myself to be like Cali and Gio? Do I allow social media to dictate what should happen to my life?". 

Basically, that's what happens to their relationship. Both of them, and especially Cali, are often forced to think of what people will say more than what they want to happen or how they feel. For example, because Gio gained a lot of followers for expressing his intention to get back together with her, Cali tries to find ways to "destroy" her ex's reputation. So she launches some sort of a smear campaign. Sounds absurd, you may say, but isn't this already happening in real life? Aren't there people who hire groups or individuals to create issues that can destroy the image of their rivals?

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Of course, the movie has a happy ending, unlike many of the real-life situations we know, where a couple breaks up because of cheating. However, forgiveness does not come easy to a person like Cali. So what happens is not your typical getting-back-together-because-I-realize-I-still-love-you thing. Gio has to suffer, even to the point of his image being tarnished. And Cali has to deal with her inner demons, particularly with her fears.

The movie features a lot of supporting actors. Joey Marquez is one and he does a stellar job (reminded me of his "Palibhasa Lalake" days). But the standout for me was Ryan Bang. Director Cathy Garcia- Molina was able to bring out Ryan's best qualities as an actor. His comic moments are so natural. We all know that Ryan sounds kind of funny when speaking Tagalog, but they were able to put this to good use. It didn't come out forced or overused. And, oh, Sandara Park makes a cameo appearance. It's super quick, so keep your eyes open!

"My Ex & Whys" is not a perfect movie. It has flaws, but it manages to pull through because of the undeniable onscreen chemistry of Liza and Enrique. And also because of the use of social media, which a lot of viewers can relate with.  It also helps that the story is something familiar to many of us. Heartaches, no matter what cause them, always tend to attract attention. People will always want to listen, read, or watch any story that talks about a man or a woman's heartache. And this is true especially nowadays, when social media has allowed us to become more open (sometimes too much) and more expressive (online, at least!).

If you want to explore a roller coaster of emotions, especially if you are going through a rough path in your relationship (whatever kind it may be), go and watch "My Ex & Whys". I won't guarantee that it will help you move on or know what to do; but it will make you think about what you really want to happen, not just to your relationship, but to your life as well. Especially if you often broadcast your story on social media. :)

Happy viewing!

P.S. South Korea is soooo beautiful!! <3

P.P.S. Wait for the end credits if you want to laugh out loud! ;)

(Screenshots from Star Cinema's YouTube account.)

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