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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Mar 2, 2017

My Ex And Whys Movie Review: The Lovely And Talented Liza Soberano Does What She Can To Keep It All Real

‘MY EX AND WHYS’ is the third movie of the LizQuen love team. Liza Soberano is Cali, a call center agent who has a blog (somewhere along the way, the call center job is suddenly forgotten). Her blog is called The Bakit List and it is mainly her outlet for her anger with her ex-boyfriend, Enrique Gil as Gio, who she caught cheating her. To answer her posts, Gio puts up his own blog, The Dahil List, and their posts catch the attention of people online and make them famous.

At first, we feel we are Cali’s allies. She hates men with a passion as her own dad also abandoned her mom (Ara Mina) for another woman. But we realize that Gio was actually just taken advantage of by a slutty woman while he was drunk. He keeps on saying sorry, but Cali’s being an unforgiving man-hater becomes unjustifiably too intense. It gets to a point that she seems to become more of a psychotic, going to the extreme of concocting lies, even hiring strippers just to discredit Gio in the eyes of the public. By this time, she has already lost all of our sympathy, especially after Gio has proven several times that he has suffered enough, is truly repentant and she can trust him again.

Since this is a Cathy Molina movie, the lovers both have their own respective families to cheer them on. Aside from her mom, Cali has two maiden aunts (Cai Cortez and Arlene Muhlach) and twin brothers. Gio, in turn, has a “babaero” dad (Joey Marquez) and brothers (led by Joross Gamboa and Dominic Roque.)

They also have a mutual friend, a Korean (Ryan Bang, who some folks find funny), who invites them to his wedding in Korea, a valid excuse for them to shoot on location there and show some great autumn scenery on the big screen.

By this time, you get the feeling that all the incidents being portrayed on screen are so contrived, so manipulated to bring out the “kilig” factor and for us to root more for the young lovers. To begin with, has anyone been as famous as a love team as the characters here are portrayed because of social media?

The formulaic ending where the lovers are reunited in the middle of the street and with the crowd cheering them on (which has been so overused in local romcoms) would also have us believe that they’ve become so popular and their faces so familiar as bloggers that nearly everyone recognizes them.

No doubt there’s still some chemistry between the leads, although Enrique has added a bit of unbecoming weight that, given a few more pounds, he’ll start to look more like Liza’s uncle than her lover. But their best movie for us remains to be their first, “Just the Way You Are” (directed by Ted Boborol), where the situations are more believable, not engineered or forced.

Through all the implausibility and her unbecoming wig, the lovely and talented Liza does what she can to keep it quite real, even if her behavior sometimes makes her such an obnoxious brat that you want to boink her on the head. But yes, she can really act so we can forgive her, but not the material. And we truly believe she can eventually go solo and doesn’t need a ka-love team at all.