An Honest Review Of 'Can We Still Be Friends?'

I love how Arci Muñoz always brings a little bit of her colorful personality into every role she plays.
by Ro Manalo
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The Long Plot, Sans Spoilers

Digs (Gerald Anderson) and Sam (Arci Muñoz) have been together for almost eight years. They started out as a match made in heaven—both have a crazy sense of humor and a love for video games (they met at an arcade!), and the two genuinely enjoyed each other's company. 

But as the years passed, Sam grew up and got an agency job, and her expectations began to change. She started to nitpick the things that annoyed her about Digs—his always-chill attitude, and the fact that he didn't have a permanent job. Digs, on the other hand, was perfectly happy with their setup. That is, until he realized how unhappy and discontented Sam was.

This eventually led to a breakup and an odd arrangement to continue living with each other, but this time, as friends.

The Short, Honest Plot

Can We Still Be Friends? is a lighthearted rom-com that tackles what happens when two people who love each other have different relationship expectations.

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The Main Actors And Where You Last Saw Them

Gerald Anderson as Digs

The hunky actor and triathlete was last seen on the big screen in the movie How To Be Yours with Bea Alonzo. He also plays Gabriel in the primetanghali teleserye Ikaw Lang Ang Iibigin, which also stars Kim Chiu.

Arci Muñoz as Sam

The stunning actress and rock star (she is the vocalist of the heavy metal band Philia) was last seen in the action-comedy movie Extra Service earlier this year. She was also one of the celebrities who competed in the Philippine version of the game show I Can Do That.

Brian Sy as Dino, Digs' best friend

The theater and film actor was last seen in the 2016 rom-com movie How To Be Yours and in the web series Sabagay Life.

Juan Miguel Severo as JM, Sam's gay best friend

The spoken word artist, author, and actor who gained popularity in the 2015 hit show On The Wings of Love was also in the movie #WalangForever starring Jericho Rosales and Jennylyn Mercado.

Erika Padilla

The sportscaster, host, yoga teacher, and actress is a regular courtside reporter of the PBA and was also recently seen in the primetime teleserye A Love To Last. She was also part of the 2016 rom-com Achy Breaky Hearts with Jodi Sta. Maria, Ian Venracion, and Richard Yap.

Ria Atayde

The actress and daughter of showbiz veteran Sylvia Sanchez is a mainstay in the primetime teleserye My Dear Heart.

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Did You Know?

1. This is the second Star Cinema movie of Arci and Gerald. Their first movie Always Be My Maybe was released last year.  

2. Can We Still Be Friends? is directed by Prime Cruz and written by Jen Chuansu. Prime and Jen also teamed up for the indie hit Sleepless starring Glaiza de Castro and Dominic Roco.

3. This movie is actually inspired by a true story. Prime and Jen have a friend who shared his personal experience of being friends with an ex. They developed the narrative and presented it to Star Cinema execs, who liked the idea.

4. Juan Miguel Severo wrote really beautiful wedding vows for this movie. It's probably one of the best parts of the film, so don't miss it. 

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What I Think:

1. Can We Still Be Friends? is a movie that anyone who has been in a relationship can relate to. Props to the writer and director for being able to flesh out super-realistic scenes that will make you either LOL or say "Hey, that happened to me!"

2. I love how Arci always brings a little bit of her colorful personality into every role she plays. She did it before as Tintin in Always Be My Maybe, and she does it again as Sam in this film.

3. Gerald was convincing as chill and happy-go-lucky Digs. I also like how his character progressed throughout the movie. It was realistic, not instantaneous and in-your-face.

4. I loved Arci and Gerald's rapport in this movie. They have an interesting kind of chemistry. It's not really the kilig kind, which is good, because the couple they're portraying has gone past that stage.

5. This film was able to capture a lot of themes and situations that millennials regularly encounter, like looking for a date through Tinder, running errands at the laundromat, and having a diverse circle of friends.

6. I liked the transition used in the middle of the movie that showed how much time had passed.

7. It was also interesting how some scenes were repeated at the end of the movie to show how the relationship changed and how the characters have developed. This technique was also used in the Oscar-winning movie Kramer vs. Kramer which stars Dustin Hoffman and Meryll Streep.

8. This movie deserves a second watch. Take note: Don't be distracted by the lighthearted moments, because you might miss the valuable lessons in between. 

9. As for the question the movie title poses—can someone really be friends with an ex? The film shows how hard it is to truly move on if you remain close friends right after a breakup. It’s either you fall right back into the relationship without fixing what was wrong in the first place, or you end up being friends with benefits, which doesn’t always play out well in the end. If an ex-couple truly wants to grow and heal, they need substantial time apart.

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What My Friend Thinks:

I'm a big fan of the first Arci-Gerald movie Always Be My Maybe so I was expecting Can We Still Be Friends to be a flick I would enjoy just as much. And I did enjoy it even if it was a lot different—the first movie being about friends who turn into lovers and this new movie about lovers who turn into exes trying to be friends.

The only downside would be that I think it's missing a back story. The plot starts toward the end of Digs' and Sam's relationship so we don't see a lot of how they started and what contributed to the breakup. —Anna Garcia

I would recommend it to:

1. Anyone who's in a relationship or has been in a relationship. There are a lot of things you will relate to and learn from while watching the movie.

2. Anyone who finds Gerald Anderson attractive. Keep your eyes peeled for some sexy abs and dance moves!

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