Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Exes Baggage

Pia (Angelica Panganiban) and Nix (Carlo Aquino) meet at a club. She is drunk and pushy. He is shy and socially awkward. After a few more drinks they start openly lambasting one another’s Facebook account. He takes her home so she won’t have to drive and ends up having breakfast at her place. Courtship follows until the two of them finally become a couple. And they lived happily ever after. NOT. To him, she is a rebound romance. To her, he is another chance at love. As they get to know each other and find out secret hang-ups with exes and the like, they realize that they don’t know one another that well after all. Once the honeymoon stage is over, they decide to break up. Two years later, they meet again. Will sparks fly once more or will they finally get the closure that both of them need.

Panganiban and Aquino grew up before our eyes. The thing with child actors is that you expect them to be adorable for a few years before they eventually fade into obscurity. Both of their careers were not without challenges and they weren’t even the most popular in their batch, yet here they are now. Becoming a couple twice, it feels like they were destined to make this movie and play these roles. Perhaps that’s why the film has been so wildly successful? People don’t see Nix and Pia, they see Carlo and Angelica.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Both of their relationships are ancient history and they are both working actors. You don’t even have to ask if they have chemistry because they obviously do. With both of them apparently single as of press time, maybe this is just wishful thinking from a nation so obsessed with love teams that what they see on the reel they hope would translate to the real deal. That’s not a bad marketing slant to be honest, and we’re not complaining at all.

The end product has this indie kind of feel that works well for these two actors’ current profiles, no need to compete with younger love teams. Nowadays there seems to be a divide between the mainstream and indie formula as far as romantic comedies are concerned. The former follows a strict format, from the musical score all the way to the supporting characters. The latter enjoys more liberty and tends to be more realistic, focusing more on the dialogues and the nitty-gritty that their popular counterparts tend to skip for a more saccharine offering.

With the success of similar narratives such as Sid & Aya earlier this year, Aquino’s Meet Me in St. Gallen, and even Panganiban’s runaway hit That Thing Called Tadhana, the alternative anti-rom-com is on the rise. With major production outfits taking note, the question now is, will it be the new norm? When the stories are that relatable, they bring about the feeling that it can also happen to you. And isn’t that the reason why we watch movies to begin with? To relate via escapism?

It has to be relatable. Maybe that is the new magic formula at the end of the day. With dialogues that do not shy away from being crass and borderline vulgar at times, materials like this cater to a larger crowd that tends to identify with such style in real life, because it closely mirrors their own. The main characters are not political scions or small-town lasses cursed with beauty. Instead, Pia and Nix are individuals that you might run into at 7-11 or at the club, like friends whose lives require some fixing.

2 creature(s) gave a damn:

VET said...

Didn't you watch Never Not Love You? I was waiting for your review.

ihcahieh said...

@VET - unfortunately not. Was it good?

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