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Photo source: starcinema2.abs-cbn.com

#ONE: You’ll see a different and more mature LizQuen

True to what Direk Cathy said, Quen is indeed in his simplest form in My Ex and Whys. His acting is so subtle here, so far removed from the Enrique Gil we see offcam and even his other roles, and it is this very subtlety that made his portrayal of Gio Martinez powerful. Quen’s eyes speak volumes that even in the absence of words, the viewer feels Gio’s heartbreak – pain, longing, desperation, and hope included.

Liza, on the other hand, is equally impressive in her portrayal of Calixta Ferrer. In interviews about the movie, Direk Cathy had emphasized the huge challenge Cali posed for Liza because Hope, at 19, has never gone through (and perhaps will never go through with Quen) her character’s main predicament – being cheated on by the man she trusts and loves. But it’s amazing how she carries her role here and delivers her lines with conviction, especially in that already iconic confrontation scene where her character asks, “Pangit ba ako?”

Both have outdone themselves once again. You will not see any trace of their characters in their previous teleseryes and movie or their off-cam personas – they immersed themselves into the film’s main protagonists, Gio and Cali. Through My Ex and Whys, Direk Cathy brought out the best in Quen and Liza as actors. There is definitely so much more to LizQuen than what meets the eye. They’re more than just pretty faces.

#TWO: The story is realistic but still light enough to be a romcom.

Unlike most romcom movies, My Ex and Whys is a little more realistic. Here we have imperfect characters in equally imperfect settings. It is definitely not sugarcoated with fantasies and other fancies. The scenes in the film mirror real events that happen in relationships. For the most part, both sides of the coin are shown, as the movie seeks to answer the whys in breakups. By focusing on present-day Cali and Gio and not so much on their past, we see how the failed relationship affected the two characters. And although the idea of holding grudges against an ex can denote drama, comedic scenes balance the movie’s mood (props go to the film’s strong supporting characters!).

#THREE: The complications are interesting.

The major conflict in My Ex and Whys is Cali’s struggle to let go and forgive her ex Gio, who is determined to win her back. As the trailer already shows, after the breakup, Cali vents her ire at Gio (and men in general) through a blog which, as fate would have it, eventually leads her to cross paths once more with the ex – the very reason for all her whys. This is where it gets interesting, as the premise of a vengeful ex on one hand and a repentant, hopeful one on the other is already enough to make you want to take sides. And with Quen and Liza giving so much life to these complicated characters, it is all the more challenging to ignore one or the other. You’ll know what we mean once you watch the movie.

#FOUR: Cinematography is excellent.

From the camera movement to framing to lighting, everything is magnificent as it perfectly complements the scenes in the movie. But really, you should expect no less since this is a Cathy Garcia-Molina film. Direk Cathy has always been great at mise-en-scene and even with the use of split-screens, this is not lost in My Ex and Whys. If anything, the treatment added to the movie’s millennial feel (a theme it established from the very first scene as it made use of graphics and other visual effects) and how fast-paced our lives can be in this day and age, how many stories are being told all at the same time, literally and figuratively. Some bonus treats for viewers are the South Korea scenes. Against a picturesque backdrop (special mention goes to the Nami Island scenes), the camera work helped tell the story without being too overbearing. You’d really feel how passionate Direk Cathy is in making the film by taking note of even the smallest details. Iba talaga ang tatak CGM!

#FIVE: Lines are witty and cleverly written.

Dialogue is one thing that sets a story apart from many other stories of the same mold. Here in My Ex and Whys, one thing that will make you enjoy watching is listening to every character’s line. Hugot lines tickle you, but they are relevant and sensible. You will find yourself giggling or unabashedly laughing out loud at the jokes. Beyond the lines, the movie’s scenes are sewn together almost seamlessly to tell the story. Walang tapon na eksena.

#SIX: Everyone can relate.

Regardless of age, gender, or relationship status, everyone can relate to the story as it does not only revolve around breakups, but also career, family, and friendship. No wonder why a lot of people are really drawn to watch.

#SEVEN: It teaches you to forgive, trust, and love.

It takes years to build trust, but it only takes seconds to break it. Once it’s broken, it is very difficult to put back all the shattered pieces together. This is especially true in Cali’s case. Without spoiling too much of the story, for Cali, trusting Gio again is a struggle as she has held bitterness for too long, at the expense of herself and others. Forgiving, trusting, and loving someone who has (inadvertently or otherwise) hurt you means exposing yourself to the risk of being hurt all over again. But her experience will teach viewers that love is not all about lying on a bed of roses and sweet promises. Does everyone really deserve a second chance? What will it take for someone who has had her heart broken in so many ways to let go and take that leap of faith to trust and love again? My Ex and Whys seeks to answer these questions and more.

#EIGHT: It has a valuable lesson for netizens.

More often than not, we are not mindful of what we post in social media. “Think before you click or post” is a mantra easier said than done at a time where everything is at our fingertips. Through Cali and Gio, My Ex and Whys shows the influence someone can gain online and the pitfalls and limits of that kind of power – how we can forget the many sides to a story in the knee-jerk nature of the Internet, how bashing someone online can affect his/her personal life, and how the online platform can be used and abused. The netizen became an ubiquitous character in this story, just like how it already is in real life, whether we like it or not.

#NINE: It takes YOU on a roller coaster ride of emotions.

At the beginning of the movie, you’d be all smiles. Later on, you’d find yourself in tears. Next, you’d laugh. Next, you’d get mad. Next, you’d laugh and smile again. Sometimes, those shifts can happen within seconds. Parang baliw lang? Watch it and see what we mean.

#TEN: It’s addictive in a good way.

After watching the movie for the first time, it leaves you with a feeling of longing for more. You will want to watch it over and over and over again. Don’t worry, we won’t judge you if you do! This is the only addiction that won’t send you to prison. Hahaha!

BONUS: ANG GALING NI RYAN BANG DITO. PROMISE!

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