Exes Baggage (2018)
Despite the doomed fate that the trailer of Exes Baggage leads you to believe, it isn’t one of those tongue-in-cheek “this is not a love story” stories. On the contrary, it gravitates towards the “saks lang” department when taken as a whole, but *uwu heart eyes spark sparkle* when considering the amount of kilig felt.
The film, directed by Dan Villegas, is heavy on dialogue between its two protagonists: real estate broker Pia (Angelica Panganiban) and furniture maker Nix (Carlo Aquino). Its all-talk format is similar to 2014’s That Thing Called Tadhana (of which Dan was a producer), except friendlier to non-romance fans. The plot follows the relationship of Pia and Nix from their first meeting at a bar, where Nix brings Pia home until (spoiler!) its end; as well as through all the good and bad in between.
Of course, there is plenty of discussion about ex partners and the reasons couples have for separation. While the plot wasn’t anything special, it was the unfailing chemistry between Carlo and Angelica (#CarGel4ever) that kept the film from having any dull moments in its entire one hour and 44 minute run. Trust us when we say that the back and forth between the two characters could crack even the most emotionally unavailable.
The appeal of Exes Baggage goes hand-in-hand with the death of the conventional romcom in local cinema: the trend of these relatable relationship stories is indicative of how the audience wants to see more of themselves in the art they consume, and that flat love interests just won’t do it anymore.
Warning: Be prepared to get LSS from Ben&Ben’s Maybe the Night after leaving the cinema. It also maybe isn’t the best film to watch if you’re fresh from a break-up (unless you’re a masochist). — Gaby Gloria, online editorial assistant