MOVIE REVIEW: MY EX AND WHYS (Cathy Garcia-Molina, 2017)



My notes on My Ex and Whys:

1. At the start of the movie, Cali (Liza Soberano) posted an interesting question on her BakitList blog: “Bakit ba ang tao kahit alam naman na masasaktan eh hindi nagsasawang magmahal?”. It was a universal thought that demanded a response and the movie’s biggest failure was that it never really tried to expound on its answer of “Mas tanga ang hindi magmahal.” Maybe Cali should have added another set of Whys on her list.

2. I would have to admit that I was very excited when this project was announced because I had always been a huge fan of the LizQuen loveteam and I deeply trusted the magic of Cathy Garcia-Molina. I really felt bad that the material didn’t live up to my lofty expectations in the same way that Dolce Amore started to disappoint me post-amnesia.

One of the strengths of this tandem was that they could stick to being pabebe and it wouldn’t come off as annoying. They easily reminded anyone of their youth, a time when it felt great to be wild and innocent and free and stupid and lovesick. But even better, they demonstrated in Everyday I Love You and Dolce Amore that they could deliver more as actors. They just needed a solid story to back them up and this wasn’t it.

3. Here’s my own list of Star Cinema tropes that they hopefully get rid off in future rom-coms (try to list all of the previous movies that had this, it would be fun!):

* One of the leads needed to work hard to support her low-to-middle class family that heavily depended on her

* Rain, lot and lots of rain, in slow motion, involving Enrique Gil (here as Gio)

* Greek chorus of BFFs that serve as one of the leads’ conscience/voice of reason/narrator of feelings

* Family of boys, and with Joey Marquez as the head of the clan and Joross as comic relief

* Contrived reason to shoot out of town/the country (this time in gorgeous Korea)

* Last minute dash to the airport before the penultimate professing of love (and possible kiss, stress on possible)

4. It was hard to empathize with Cali’s bitterness and hurt when we never really understood her love story with Gio. Nothing was shown after spending seven minutes (of heaven) with him. What made her love him aside from his promise of fidelity?

Also, her reason for breaking up with him felt completely trivial. She only heard a possible tryst over the phone and immediately broke up with him without hearing him out? Sure, she was traumatized by her cheating father but was that reason enough to let him go (especially since she knew he was drunk)?

Ang babaw girl! There are other worse reasons to break up with a cheating boyfriend. Minsan makikita mo na lang siya may ibang ka-date sa mall. Or may tatawag sa cellphone nya saying na miss na siya at mahal na mahal sya sobra. Or makikita mo ang messages ng landian sa Facebook inbox at yung last ay magkita sila sa isang club. I am not just my mistake mong mukha mo!! But I digress.

5. I wasn’t keen on the choice of using split screens especially since this style was closely associated with another popular loveteam. I was just happy that God Gave Me You never played in the background.

6. I really liked how the movie was unapologetic on its portrayal of gender differences. One person mentioned that it was innate for men to cheat (it’s just in their nature to be polygamous). Joey’s character was dating two women and the audience found it funny. Ara Mina’s character as the long-suffering mother of Cali on the other hand looked forgiving and bordered on being gaga. I just wished they were able to explore this further through Cali and Gio.

7. My favorite parts were elevated by such great performances. This was obviously Liza’s movie because she was just so good in every scene (lalo na kapag umiiyak wow lang ha), but the best one had her drunkenly putting down her guard and admitting her jealousy and unwavering feelings for Gio.

Enrique had less to do here although he delivered unli-charms whether he was taking a sad face picture (hongkyuuuut!) or hilariously pretending not be seduced by a woman’s huge boobies.

Even Ryan Bang had his intentional and unintentional comic moments. Lakas ng tawa ko sa “Di mo alam dito sya mag-propose sa’yo? Oh ngayon alam mo na”. No wait, I laughed even harder in the “third wheel” joke. He was a standout in this movie.

8. I felt bad when one character verbalized that working as a call center agent was a thankless job. I felt worse (as a previous BPO manager) when Cali terminated a call even with an incredibly irate customer still talking on the other end of the line.

Speaking of jobs, I found it odd that Cali became an internet sensation given that she rarely blogged and most of her conversations with Gio looked like they happened on Twitter. Don’t even get me started on the dubious bag endorsement and book deal. I would believe that once I read The Untold Story of Bilog and Bunak biography.

9. “You give me hope…” played and the camera focused on Liza’s (yup, Hope’s) face. What a nice little touch!

10. For all my complaints, I still couldn’t deny that I felt like a giddy tweener during that faux proposal scene amidst a row of gingko trees. It was such a magical sight straight out of a Koreanovela. I would have also said yes.

Booking that trip to Korea in 3, 2, 1…

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

7 thoughts on “MOVIE REVIEW: MY EX AND WHYS (Cathy Garcia-Molina, 2017)”

  1. I looked forward to this review from you the most out of everyone else’s because I like your format. Just as I anticipated, I was nodding my head throughout this.

    #1 That’s kinda funny huh. That you end up watching My Ex and Whys with more “Whys” than you started with hehe.

    #3 *I’m sure there was yelling. There’s always yelling in all these movies.

    #6 I too was excited to watch and see if they would sort of play on the ‘battle of the sexes’ trope here a la ‘When Harry Met Sally’. The thing I find our local mainstream movies get stuck on is really developing their ideas/characters well. It seems every single one of these movies operate on the basis of their premise and nothing else…which leads to your point #4

    Will probably watch this (with tempered expectations this time) when it opens here Friday. I can’t not. Even with subpar material, it’s still Liza and Enrique we’re talking about here😍

    So thanks, and will gladly check back on here to see if/when you review the Paulo/Maja starrer!

    1. I feel like a parent being too critical to his kid all out of love. Yes, LizQuen is always worth a watch so go and maybe you might even enjoy it more. Posting my notes on IDILY soon. Thanks again for reading!! 😊

  2. Well, I understand na medyo mababaw nga yung reason for their breakup. But you forgot the fact that Cali wasn’t aware of Gio’s out of town gig. She didn’t even know na may bago syang “road manager”. So you see, it may be cliche but relationships are always about trust.

    Anyway, I like that you were able to notice the “You give me hope..” thing. Galing!

    1. You’re right about the trust thing. I think my stand on it being mababaw was coming from the fact that Gio didn’t really do anything wrong for him to merit that kind of treatment (to the point of Cali actually doing things to smear his good name). Nagmukhang mas villain pa si Cali so it was hard to completely sympathize with her. I think mas maganda if tinodo na nila that Gio intentionally cheated giving Cali a strong reason to break up with him. It would put Gio/Enrique in a bad light but it this was a movie about second chances anyway.

      Great to hear your different point of view on this. Thanks for the feedback! 😊

  3. First time to read your blog and I’m hooked! Super agree with your point #2… I actually thought this was going to be heavier than Everyday I love you’s drama moments, because I thought that’s how Star Cinema evolves their love teams as they get more famous. This one is more reminiscent of Just the Way You are, and didn’t feel like a continuation of their maturity in Everyday.

    But you are right that a Lizquen movie/show is always a treat. Sure, mababaw ang kwento, on some points mejo ang gulo na nga, but althroughout it was funny. Liza and Enrique were always charming, Chong Joey and Joross were scene stealers as usual, Ryan Bang was a revelation.

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