MoviesPositive (Worth Seeing)

Exes Baggage (2020) – Review/Summary (with Spoilers)

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Exes Baggage presents your usual will they or won’t they drama as you become so invested in the leads’ relationship you feel as if they must end up together.


Director(s)Dan Villegas
Screenplay ByDwein Baltazar
Date Released (Netflix)10/22/2020
Genre(s)Drama, Romance, Young Adult, Non-English
Duration1 Hour, 43 Minutes
RatingTV-MA
Noted Cast
PiaAngelica Panganiban
NixCarlo Aquino
ReynaDionne Monsanto

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Plot Summary

Pia and Nix met in a bar after Nix’s engagement ended, and Pia’s relationship with a married man. Neither had intentions to be each other’s rebound but get into something new, someone who could love them and be all they deserve. However, old insecurities, baggage, and so much more challenged their relationship. Leaving both sides to wonder if this is something made for now or possibly forever.

Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered

  • Reason(s) For Rating: A handful of curse words and smoking. Believe me when I say there is nothing that, for the average person, would lead you to believe this deserves a MA rating. But, you know, smoking casually is considered something that is for mature audiences only.

Character Guide

Pia (Angelica Panganiban)

A real estate broker who recently got out of an entanglement that was just out with her girl, not necessarily looking for nothing, but then spotted Nix. Someone who was the right man at the right time, in terms of his ability to love her, yet might have had his own baggage that pressed against Pia’s buttons.

Nix (Carlo Aquino)

Nix (Carlo Aquino) arguing with Pia
Nix (Carlo Aquino)

Nix is a furniture designer who has his ex, his only serious relationship, as a client and has been working on her project for who knows how long. Yet, in his mind, despite how things ended, he has moved on. Hence him getting with Pia, who is the complete opposite of his ex. Yet, in trying to get away from what was familiar and hurt, will he end up hurting Pia in the process?

Reyna (Dionne Monsanto)

Pia’s best friend and co-worker who thought Nix was looking at her when he met Pia. Yet, alas, he wasn’t. But, that wasn’t a big issue as Reyna is quick to find a man and claim them. As for them doing the same with her? Well…

Review

Highlights

It Delivers Your Usual Feel Good, Despite Light Drama, Romance

While you can, without question, say a lot of Filipino movies are corny and formulaic, there is no denying that there is something nice about their simplicity. It is usually a girl meets boy or boy meets girl, they fall in love, and yes, it follows the trajectory you expect it to, but there is something sweet the way many of their creatives do things. For with sex always skirted around, it means other ways to show affection and why the relationship works has to be pursued.

Like, when it comes to Pia and Nix, Nix’s desire to take care of Pia, how he worries, it is a double-edged sword. For Pia, it is nice to know he cares, but as her friend Reyna notes, and even Nix’s mom, there is a certain level of control that can also be seen. After all, Pia isn’t like his ex, a complete opposite, and you can tell there are certain things about Pia he had to learn to deal with for it comes with dating her.

Pia (Angelica Panganiban) smiling
Pia (Angelica Panganiban)

Now, on the other end, Pia’s value comes in she knows how to have fun, and while she finds herself moving in with Nix, she doesn’t necessarily need him. She chooses him, despite his and her own insecurities, and does so each and every day. This is where the romance comes in that you may not see in other films within the romance genre. While they often may focus on grandeur acts, I often find Filipino movies really try to hone in on the day to day more, not just the highlights or the worst days between two people. And in that middle ground, you find the nuance that keeps them from all becoming slightly different versions of each other.

On The Fence

It Can Feel A Little Long

While we enjoy Pic and Nix’s relationship, I’m not going to pretend that you won’t wish for this to wrap it up about halfway through. Especially since it is the kind of film that jumps to the past and the present, and reveals what happened in the past. Thus making it so you are just waiting for the shoe to drop and see if they could rekindle things or if you have just experienced one long tease with no payoff.

Overall

Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)

Despite being a bit long, “Exes Baggage” delivers what you may need and expect. It features two people with enough chemistry to have a believable relationship, and as it explores the day to day of their connection, you get invested. Making it so, as you are left to wonder if they will be together or separate, you get this low laying anxiety that makes that final decision such a relief.

Hence the positive label. “Exes Baggage” reminds you of why the best romance films go beyond the big-time moments and focus on what it truly means to be with someone. That is, beyond the sex, beyond the cute moment, and when you actually have to work, compromise and communicate for it to work.

Where To Watch


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Ending Explained

So, Pia broke up with Nix two years ago because things came to a point between them where he felt Pia was too insecure, and Pia felt like a rebound to prove to his ex he has moved on – when he hasn’t. Which, with a project he should have long finished for her, in modeling some furniture, she saw that as proof as him trying to keep her around by stalling with that project.

However, the nail in the coffin was him saying he is tired and done and not stopping her when she packed her things and left. Never mind him unfriending her on Facebook, which made it so, until their friends got together, they didn’t see each other.

But, as for whether they ended up back together? Well, from what it appears, while they do get closure and share a moment, Pia is with someone. However, reconnecting with Nix, who can communicate better, seemingly gets Pia nostalgic, and the movie leaves you on a cliffhanger, unsure if she may drop this new guy for an old flame.

Does Exes Baggage Have Sequel Potential?

Considering the story ends with you unsure if Pia and Nix get back together, YUP!

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Amari Allah

I started Wherever I Look back in 2011 and from movies, TV, the occasional book, play, and Broadway show, have been trying to bridge the gap between a critic and an avid lover of various forms of media.

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