I’ve only heard of this film a few days prior its opening day. It seems that the publicity of the film isn’t as grand like Olivia M’s Starting over Again or Jadoane’s That Thing Called Tadhana or maybe I am just not watching too much TV or I’d been holed up in front of my computer busy with EOS.
I don’t usually watch local films in cinemas but lately I find myself seeing some in its opening day depending on who directed and wrote it. My movie buddy, who is a certified kaladkarin  friend, jokes that we’ve matured when choosing what commercial films to watch. One of the reasons I gave up seeing local films before is because I felt that the Philippine movie industry have not moved on from patweetum  plots and focuses heavily on the leads’ chemistry or popularity. For the past 2 or 3 years, we’ve been seeing the industry mature and slowly deviate from the norm. It’s not just in the big screen but we also have television series dealing with issues that aren’t normally being shown in nationwide television. Some of it worked, some did not, and others fared well. The point here is we now have a variety of shows/films to choose from that are not made out of a well received formula.
The Breakup Playlist
Star Cinema & Viva Films, 120 minutes
Released on July 1, 2015
Watched on July 1, 2015
I’ll be honest, the reason I got interested is because of Piolo Pascual. Come on, it’s THE Piolo Pascual. A superb acting is something that you can always expect with Papa P though sometimes it’s not reason enough to pay for a movie ticket. I can always wait a few months until a DVD copy comes out but what pushed me to spend money on it in its first week, technically first day, is seeing Sarah Geronimo do a more mature role compared to her previous blockbuster movies. Yes, SG had always been my guilty pleasure. Another push is the writer, Antoinette Jadoane. I haven’t seen EOP yet, her first collaboration with her real time beau, Dan—a shame I know given that it was such a big film when it came out, so I can’t tell if a Villegas film is worth seeing.
The movie started showing the couple breaking up and then jumping to the present for a talk about a possible reunion concert. It’s not the usual timeline we see in Pinoy Romance but I noticed that this new narrative is starting to be a trend which I think would be the new “formula” if this would continue to sell to viewers. I am hoping that won’t be the case because first, I am not a fan and second, I’m pretty sure people (actually more of me) will easily get tired of it. There is nothing wrong with non-linear narrative; it actually depends on how the director/writer executes it. I just don’t like the past-present or vice versa sequence because most often than not, I’m having a hard time dissecting if it was the present timeline or the past. Luckily in this film, they presented the chapters with titles similar with a playlist which basically where the title came from.
Piolo Pascual’s portrayal of a cocky, overconfident rock star musician is spot on. However, I feel like the role is not for him. It’s totally different from the last role he played on the big screen and it also shows the variety of roles he could act. It’s just that I see the musician role for someone like Sam Milby. Although I’m giving him applause on the groveling scene because no one can pull that off better than Papa P. Superb acting? Definitely. Rock star musician? No. Sarah Geronimo, on the other hand was a surprise. I said in numerous reviews of her films that she is my guilty pleasure but that doesn’t mean I don’t see how she acts. I hate her love struck roles in her “formulated” films. But seeing her on a much mature role that is not at all cutesy is a refreshing take in her acting repertoire. In all honesty, I have someone in mind who I think could pull off her role in flying colors but she did give justice to the role in her own way. What I don’t like in the emotional transition of the characters is that it feels unnatural. I know that the sequencing of the conflict as the story progress even with this kind of narrative is predictable but the changes in the characters didn’t really reach me in an emotional level. Yes, most of the scenes are perfectly executed but the emotion I was looking for wasn’t there. The actors deliver. It’s right. It’s there. But I don’t feel it. As for their chemistry, I’m not sure because I really didn’t look into that. I was more into how they attacked and presented their characters.
The product placement is another thing that I wish commercial films should forego. Come on, I can read that in the ending credits (fine, not everyone stays until the ending credits) but do I have to see it in the film more than once? It’s very obvious with popular artists whom we see almost every day in national television with their commercials. Why do I have to see it in their films as well?
The musical score of TBUP is the highlight of this film. I find myself singing “Paano Ba Ang Magmahal” after watching the movie and then adding the album in my To Listen queue in Spotify. It does give you a serious case of LSS. I also like how they incorporated the songs in the story as Trixie and Gino’s relationship blossomed. Yes, it seems that they had too many musical scenes in the movie which I think is typical for Star Cinema, it’s tedious at times but I’d say they really have a good soundtrack. I’m not very familiar with the Pinoy rock scene because it’s not my genre. I asked Louie if the timeline is correct since there was a period a few years ago when alternative Pinoy music was the “in” music. I wasn’t just sure if it was in 2009.
Overall, The Break-up Playlist is a good film. It’s not a superb film that would leave you flabbergasted for a few days but it’s enough to make you say you didn’t waste Php240 and 2 hours of your life. If you are looking for a different type of romance that is not too big on the comedy or romance bordering to romanticism with unrealistic romantic gestures and a public embarrassing denouement, you should watch this. It’s a down-to-earth film that focuses in the relationship, the reality of the music industry without the glitter and screaming fans, and all the feels.
I would have rated this higher if they didn’t end up together, like really together. It would have been more realistic if it’s open ended not that I loath happy endings. I just feel that forgiving each other and patching up without being together immediately is a better ending for this story.
Since we have Antoinette Jadaone as the screenwriter, I won’t miss sharing the best lines I liked in the film: (source: spot.ph)
On forgiving yourself:
“Sa tingin ko, kailangan mong magpatawad. Hindi para sa kanya, ha. Kundi para sa sarili mo. Kasi hangga’t hindi ka nagpapatawad, andun ka lang sa past, sa part ng buhay mo na masakit. Isipin mo umiikot ‘yong mundo, tapos ikaw asan ka? Andiyan ka pa rin.”
On being happy for someone:
“‘Di mo ‘ko mahal, Gino. Ang mahal mo lang ‘yong sarili mo. Kasi kung totoong mahal mo ‘ko, magiging masaya ka para sa ‘kin.”
On being selfish:
“Mabuti nga magbilangan na tayo, para malaman mo, mapansin mo man lang, sa ating dalawa sana magbigay ka naman. Huwag ka lang puro tanggap nang tanggap, mahal kita pero nakakapagod na.”
 Someone you can tag along somewhere without any arguments. A person who is always on the go.
 Uberly sweet, romantic, cheesy plots that would make you puke.