An Honest Review Of 'Between Maybes'

THAT ENDING THOUGH.
PHOTO: Between Maybes/Star Cinema

The Long Plot, Sans Spoilers

Hazel Ilagan (Julia Barretto) is a formerly famous child actress who's experiencing career troubles. She doesn't have control over her own life, she doesn't have new acting projects, her mom is constantly nagging her, and she just feels... lost. Because of all the pressure, Hazel longs for some peace and quiet. She books a random flight to Japan, not caring where she ends up, and arrives at the Saga Prefecture. There, she meets a fellow Filipino named Louie Puyat (Gerald Anderson), whose OFW parents were deported from the country. These two lost souls get closer, develop a bond, and eventually have to decide whether they will fight for each other or not.   

The Short, Honest Plot

It's the story of an actress who thinks she's now laos and the guy who makes her realize what she really wants to do in life.  

The Actors And Where You Last Saw Them

Julia Barretto 

Julia starred in the teleserye Ngayon At Kailanman opposite her love team partner and real-life boyfriend Joshua Garcia from 2018 to 2019. The pair also worked on the movie I Love You, Hater in 2018. 

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Gerald Anderson 

Gerald's last film was the rom-com My Perfect You (2018), where he was paired with Pia Wurtzbach! His previous romantic films include Can We Still Be Friends (2017), How To Be Yours (2017), and Won't Last A Day Without You (2011). 

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Did You Know:

1. The film's director, Jason Paul Laxamana, is also the creator of films 100 Tula Para Kay Stela (2017) and The Day After Valentine's (2018). According to him, what inspired him to write Between Maybes was the location itself, because the Saga Prefecture seemed like the perfect place to "escape" and find one's self. 

2. In an interview, Julia said that she could relate so much to her character Hazel, being an actress herself. "When I first heard about it, I had a soft spot for her already. Naintindihan ko na kung bakit siya naging ganoon. Makikita natin sa pelikula kung paano siya napagod sa ginagawa niya [acting]." 

3. The film's location, the Saga Prefecture, is located on the island of Kyushu, Japan. Some of its famous spots include the Saga Castle, the Yutoku Inari Shrine, and Yoshinogari Park. 

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4. Julia's younger sis Claudia Barretto actually broke down in tears after watching the film! Aww. 

What I Think:

Julia's character Hazel was totally relatable. She was at a point in her life where she was in the middle of being a kid who's still dependent on people around her, and an adult who wants to try new things and carve her own path. I mean, who hasn't thought of leaving everything and everyone behind for a few days, right? Who hasn't gone through crippling self-doubt? I wish I could do thatdrop everything now (HELLO, TAYLOR SWIFT REFERENCE!) and fly somewhere remote to drown out the noise, forget all my responsibilities, and basically start anew. 

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I liked that the film tackled the concept of "almost" relationships. I mean, it's true, isn't it? Between Maybes makes us realize that just because two people like each other doesn't necessarily mean they'll end up together and get that happily ever after. As a hopeless romantic, I didn't believe that things like that happened when I was younger. But they do, and it's nice that the film decided to show that. A lot of recent Pinoy films are showing that reality and I think that says something about our generation of filmmakers and viewers: Sure, fantasies are nice, but sometimes, we need to get hit by the raw, honest truth. 

Speaking of hard truths, here's one that's hard to admit: I would have loved the film more if Julia had been paired with her love team partner Joshua Garcia. I loved Joshua's performance in their film Love You To The Stars And Back (2017), where he played a young man suffering from cancer. I think he would've added depth and more emotion to Louie's character. I mean, Julia and Gerald can act well, but maybe not together. What was supposed to be romantic actually felt like a kuya and little sister situation at times, and I just didn't feel the chemistry! Yes, I said it.

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Still, the two had their sterling moments, and I liked the scene where Hazel was being all crazy and Louie's face was saying, "What have I gotten myself into?" The part where they were dancing together was also endearing!

THAT ENDING THOUGH. Sure, the ending for Between Maybes was predictable and seriously cliché, but I've never loved an ending more! It was sad, but it didn't break my heart. The scene was beautifully filmed, but it didn't feel fake. The lead characters were hurting, but there weren't any over-the-top crying moments.  

What My Friend Thinks: 

"The two lead characters in this movie initially had contrasting personalities but after a bit of time, they sort of seamlessly blend into each other, resulting in scenes that are amusing and interesting to watch. Lines that were supposed to be cheesy became funny and heartwarming instead, because of witty quips and compelling delivery from both actors. The part where they talked while being surrounded by constellation exhibits was my favorite scene, for, in that brief moment, the world was seemingly engulfed by the darkness, and all that remained was the two of them. I liked this movie but I wish the plot had a bit more complexity in it, like in terms of how the two actors met, as well as their background stories and other interactions." Eunice 

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I'd Recommend It To:

  • People who are in love with Japan and Japanese culture! 
  • Fans who are curious to see how the surprising Julia-Gerald pairing plays out. 
  • Those who have been in "almost" relationships and who are still trying to understand what the hell happened. 

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