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MOVIE REVIEW: Lizquen levels up acting in ‘My Ex and Whys’

Star Cinema’s post-Valentine offering is a film that proves giving second chances are always worth a try.

BY RHEA MANILA SANTOS

Twitter: @allaboutmanila

FRESH SCOOPS

2/15/2017 7:55 AM
MOVIE REVIEW: Lizquen levels up acting in ‘My Ex and Whys’


021517-LizQuen_PUSH.jpgThe question of whether one should give love a second chance is the recurring theme of Star Cinema’s latest romantic drama My Ex and Whys. Trusting a man enough to love again and not be hurt is the main dilemma of Liza Soberano’s character Cali. During a college party, Cali meets and gets paired up with a charming and happy-go-lucky musician named Gio (Enrique Gil). They end up dating and what seems like the perfect romance ends abruptly after Cali’s trust is broken.

Fast-forward to a few years later and Cali has become an independent call center agent with a popular blog with a cult following called The Baket List where she questions why people still choose to love even after heartache. Cali lives with her mom (Ara Mina) whose heart keeps pining for her husband, a perennial playboy who keeps disappointing her time and again. Cai Cortez and Arlene Muhlach play their friends who along with her two sons complete their colorful household and provide Cali the support system she needs to move on from Gio. Just like Cali, Gio lives in a modest home with family after their mom left them. Joey Marquez plays his laidback dad while Joross Gamboa and Dominic Roque play two of his brothers with whom he operates a family business.

Liza Soberano completely reinvents herself not just because of a spunky new look and wardrobe but also because she shows a side of herself that goes beyond her usual conservative girl-next-door roles in previous films like Everyday I Love You and Just the Way You Are. Because of her previous experience, Cali channels her bitterness with men through her blog. Gio tries reaching out to her online and when their Twitter war goes viral, the two end up having to work together despite their past. Enrique Gil as Gio plays the Prince Charming card just right even though Cali decides she wants nothing to do with him both online and off.

Things get even more complicated when their friend Lee (Ryan Bang) returns to the country to invite them to his wedding in Korea. The ex-couple rediscover their attraction for each other but Cali still refuses to give in to what her heart wants to say. Ryan Bang is hilarious as the mutual best friend who has almost all of the biggest punchlines and the best “hugot” lines in the movie. Shot in postcard perfect locations, it wasn’t a surprise that during filming Enrique and Liza made Koreans stop and take photos of them which is noticeable during some publicly shot scenes.

Enrique and Liza were especially impressive during the more serious scenes in My Ex and Whys. One scene shot in Korea had a drunken Liza confess her feelings in the most adorable way. Her imperfect hair and glasses showing the audience that even without her usual picture perfect look, Liza is definitely more than just a pretty face. And even though he didn’t have to do much to look like a true heartthrob all throughout the film, Enrique as Gio makes us want to root for Cali to forgive him when he finally gives her that speech about giving up.

My Ex and Whys may not turn out to be the kind of love story we all want to hear, but it is the kind of story we need to learn from to know that love isn’t always going to be picture perfect in order to be genuine.