The Sarah Geronimo-Piolo Pascual starrer is a long-overdue team-up and has finally come to pass via ‘The Breakup Playlist’; it is making waves in the box-office as it earned 100 million mark as of yesterday since it opened on July 1 in theaters nationwide. Also, it boasts of the performances of both Geronimo and Pascual. Apart from the popularity of the stars that made the film a huge success, the tandem of Antoinette Jadaone and Dan Villegas as screenwriter and director is to be credited for it as well.
The film’s theme is reminiscent to the 2013 American musical movie ‘Begin Again’ which was written and directed by John Carney and starred Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo as lead stars. Another film that others find the local film is similar to is the 2007 American romantic comedy movie ‘Music and Lyrics’ with Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore as Alex Fletcher and Sophie Fisher, respectively. Then there’s the musical play turned into a film in 2014 of the same title ‘The Last Five Years’ with Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan as stars and Richard LaGravenese as director, and as well the classic comics novel of Nerissa Cabral adapted into film of the same title ‘Bituing Walang Ningning’ and was directed by Emmanuel Borlaza with Sharon Cuneta as the lead star back in 1985.
However, what made ‘The Breakup Playlist’ a standout is its identifiable characters for the Filipino audience. The conflict between Trixie David and Gino Avila portrayed by Geronimo and Pascual, respectively was written by Jadaone (of ‘English Only Please’ and ‘That Thing Called Tadhana’) in a way that would hook the moviegoers and see themselves in the characters’ shoes. Despite the many perceptions that this film is patterned after the Knightley-Ruffalo film, I strongly disagree. The only semblance to it is the characters common interest—who are both musicians; while the ‘Music and Lyrics’ of Grant and Barrymore is also closer, but not quite enough. The Geronimo-Pascual film explores more on the rivalry of the musician-lovers and how they struggle to support each other’s dreams and fight their love against the people around them especially the parents of Trixie who oppose the relationship. Villegas as the director shines anew as he took a different route of focusing on how ex-lovers should deal with heartaches and how they should tackle the stage of moving on; weigh things if they should be giving themselves another chance by reconciling and becoming lovers the second time around.
Though Jadaone is known for themes on love stories that aren’t the usual route that most romantic comedy flicks have taken in its previous outings, this film is perhaps one that she has catapulted herself as someone who dared to tackle a braver journey for lovers after a ‘breakup’—by accepting and forgiving the strengths and weaknesses of each one. Another notable part of the film is its production design particularly the wall papers utilized in the scenes. Sarah for me, though slightly younger than Keira, the local star suit well with the kind of styling that the Hollywood star donned with in ‘Begin Again’. The off-shoulder tops were pretty much evident that parallels with Knightley’s character as Gretta James, a songwriter. Piolo’s styling can be compared to David Kohl, Greta’s ex-boyfriend character played by Adam Levine and it also suits him excellently as a rock singer, in fact, he didn’t have any difficulty with the role since he once assumed a closer character way back in his last TV series titled ‘Hawak Kamay’ as Gin Agustin.
There may have been violent reactions on Pascual being too senior to be paired with a much younger Geronimo. The way I see it was NOT OFF at all. Yes, ‘chemistry’ in a pair for a film may be a good factor for its success, but not necessary. In reality, anyone can fall in love regardless of age. Both, Sarah and Piolo were sensitive enough in bringing life to their characters as imagined for them by Jadaone. Pascual’s character is a combination of Dave Kohl and Alex Fletcher in a Filipino kind of ‘angas’ or arrogance, but still lovable.
Apart from the stars, the songs included in the film have made the film a must-see and something that moviegoers would want to watch again and again since these songs are endearing enough that touch the hearts of Filipino audiences. These are songs: ‘With a Smile’ by Eraserheads, ‘Wag na Wag Mong Sasabihin’ by Kitchie Nadal, ‘Paano ba ang Magmahal’ by the two actors, ‘Bida’ by Sarah G., ‘Akin Ka na lang’ by Itchyworms, ‘Nagsimula sa Puso’ by Sarah G., and ‘Patawarin’ by Yeng Constantino. Both ‘Paano ba ang Magmahal’ and ‘Patawarin’ were popularly attached in the film due to the emotions that go with the songs so as the scenes that required the two characters to be emotionally- charged.
‘The Breakup Playlist’ is now on its second blockbuster week. It will have its international premiere in Caritas Community Centre, Kowloon in Hong Kong on July 12. All Kapamilyas in Hong Kong can catch the movie that day in the following screening times: 10am-12 nn, 1pm-3pm, and 3:30pm-5:30pm. Tickets to the screenings can be obtained at the following outlets:
JVP Marketing, Shop 367, 3/F, World Wide Plaza, Central – 2537 5806
Rainbow, Shop C13, 1/F, Planet Square, Hung Hom
Phone reservation – Contact 9743 7174
Watch the official trailer of the film here.