Breakup movies are mostly cliché at this point: couple splits, they don’t see each other for a period of time, and the whole movie is a journey of figuring what went wrong. Either that, or one of them tries to win the other back.
Going into Exes Baggage, I was expecting all of these scenes to play out. Surprisingly, it wasn’t as predictable. It didn’t try to be feel-good or add humor where it wasn’t needed. It showed some of the realities and elements that go into breakups. What’s also unnerving is how it can make you revisit past relationships and contemplate on the memories and mistakes.
The film starts out with Pia (Angelica Panganiban) and Nix (Carlo Aquino) meeting at a bar. The two hit it off instantly as they make fun of each other’s photos on Facebook. Their honeymoon period is adorable enough—living together and cuddling on free days, going on convenience store dates, and slow dancing to Ben&Ben’s “Maybe the Night” in an empty apartment. It’s like the scenes in 500 Days of Summer where all you feel are rainbows and butterflies while Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel frolicked in Ikea. But just like any relationship, this period doesn’t last forever.
What makes the situation slightly different is that they didn’t get tired of each other because of their annoying quirks. You could see throughout the movie that they got too comfortable and left each other alone when they had problems. They didn’t try to fix them together and it blew up on their faces later on. Plus, what adds to the pain is remembering the promises that Pia and Nix made to each other, and watching them break each one.
The main problem was that Pia and Nix got insecure of each other’s exes—comparing themselves to other people and couldn’t admit to it, which led to their downfall. This is something that could resonate with some people who, sometimes unknowingly, commit to relationships just to get over another person. Or they try to date around in hopes of finding a person that’s different from their usual “tastes” because it seems easier to forget the past that way.
It’s an ugly truth that’s not realized nor resolved in a snap, and they showed that in the film. Because sometimes certain problems don’t get fixed while you’re together. Pia and Nix both had issues they needed to deal with personally, and breaking up made them reflect on the things they could’ve done better.
Another great thing about the film is that it doesn’t give you a sense of bitterness between Pia and Nix. Awkwardness, yes, but there was no animosity. They’re mature enough (at least in my perspective) to face each other, point out their shortcomings, and not get furious about it. I think many need to learn that not every breakup is one-sided. We all have our fair share of wrongs and we need to acknowledge that, during the relationship or even after. (Except if the other person cheated on you. That’s inexcusable.)
Exes Baggage is a must-watch for people who are moving on, still figuring it out, and those who are in a rough patch in their relationships right now. This film will show that problems are fixable through proper communication. If it’s not, you can choose to leave and that’s not always a bad thing. I also suggest you bring tissues and a companion when watching this in case the emotions get too much for you.
Art by Marian Hukom
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