Exes Baggage throws a one-two punch that will knock you out
For very good reason, ex-real-life-lovers Angelica Panganiban and Carlo Aquino are everywhere recently. Sure, it’s mostly to promote their current project, Exes Baggage, but it’s also given every early-2000s fangirl/boy a nostalgic little pinch in the heart.
And who can blame us?
If it wasn’t obvious enough, Exes Baggage is a love story. It does, after all, follow the lives of party girl/workaholic Pia (Angelica Panganiban) and Nix (Carlo Aquino), a quiet yet charming furniture designer, as they fall in love. The two meet at a bar, add each other on social media and, like all great modern love stories, start messaging each other the very next day.
Before the two even consummate their relationship, they air their dirty laundry: Pia was in love with a married man; Nix was left at the altar. In that same conversation, they inevitably talk about love—or to be more specific, whether they wanted to fall in love again, considering the pain they’ve already experienced.
Nix admits he’s afraid to be in another relationship; Pia explains that she’d welcome love back into her life even if it meant getting hurt two-fold. And there’s the first question:
What do you do when love is waiting and staring at you right in the face?
What follows after is a romance that was built for the big screen. The chemistry between Angelica and Carlo is undeniable and their acting is perfect for their roles. Their kisses are tireless, their banter endearing and their embraces completely enviable. You fall in love with them as they fall in love with each other, get disappointed when jealousy rears its ugly head and get exasperated when ghosts of Christmas past are spoken about again and again.
But it’s real. Completely real. Their arguments are ones we’ve overheard, heard of or experienced ourselves. Their excuses—explanations—are ones we have uttered or heard and wanted to believe. The questions they ask each other at the height of their passion, anger and love are questions that have haunted us before.
And there is the second biggest question that the movie dare asks:
What do you do when you’re finally given the answers?
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Is Exes Baggagea typical Pinoy romcom? In many ways—even frustrating ways—it is, but just because it’s typical doesn’t mean it isn’t worth the watch. There are so many good points to the movie: its soundtrack, its acting, the characters’ chemistry and its absolute relatability yet certain unattainability. There’s kilig and heartbreak, jealousy and annoyance. It’s two beautiful people falling in love and then seemingly falling apart.
And then there’s the third question:
What do you do with love?
Art Alexandra Lara