An Honest Review Of 'LSS'

'LSS' is not quite a musical (but just as momentous) and way more than a rom-com.
PHOTO: Youtube/GLOBE studios

The Long Plot, Sans Spoilers

It starts off with a montage of the main characters singing their hearts out, as they go about their daily lives, to a Ben&Ben song. Anyone who's ever had a song stuck in their head can relate to that! Just as it is entertaining, this serves as a quick backgrounder on the characters we're about to be introduced to.

From the get-go, we're shown that while this is not a musical, it is very clearly musically driven. It sets the tone, and it sets it well. (Pun totally intended!)

In those earlier moments, we meet the two protagonists, Zack (Khalil Ramos) and Sarah (Gabbi Garcia). 

Sarah is an aspiring musician. She's gone to music camps and workshops. She's certainly put the work in. However, since she has been the sole provider for herself and her younger brother (Elijah Canlas), she has had to put her big musikero dreams aside. She knows what she wants in life but how will she achieve this when life itself keeps getting in the way?

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Zack is the only child of a single mother (Tuesday Vargas). He has a stable job, and a darling, supportive relationship with his mother and yet he is haunted by a couple of things: The void where his father could be, though he struggles to open the conversation up with his mom; and the feelings he has had for his best friend for years (Aiana Bermudez), though he could never seem to find the courage to tell her. He is the classic torpe, several ways over.

Eventually, the two meet in an extended chance encounter that we might actually have to thank the Metro Manila traffic for. And that is just the beginning!

In a nutshell, we watch the two sort of sometimes strangers live their lives on seemingly parallel paths that occasionally, repeatedly diverge, though they might not always know it. 

All this is told with Ben&Ben in the background, even in the foreground, and all around, actually. Not that I'm complaining!

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The Short, Honest Plot 

Short and honest: Not quite a musical (but just as momentous) and way more than a rom-com.

Even shorter, and still honest: Best meet-cutes with the best soundtrack!

The Actors And Where You Last Saw Them

Gabbi Garcia

Signed onto GMA-7 as a talent, she's appeared in several shows on the network. Currently, she's starring in just-released action-drama TV series, Beautiful Justice.

 

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Khalil Ramos

He was most recently in horror movie, The Ghosting, but this 2011 runner-up of Pilipinas Got Talent has been in several indie movies over the past years. To name a few, he was part of the award-winning Cinema One Originals animated musical, Paglisan, and he had a small but impactful role in the acclaimed Cinemalaya Martial Law biopic, Liway.

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Tuesday Vargas

She last shared the big screen with everyone's favorite boy-next-door type Jericho Rosales in the 2018 movie, The Girl in the Orange Dress. She still does the occasional TV roles but when she's not onscreen, she's on stage as lead vocalist for two bandsTop Junk, and ska outfit, Todo Pasa.

 

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Elijah Canlas

If you happened to catch Edward in the recent Cinemalaya film festival, that was him! His character was Renz, Edward's friend! He was also in indie film Sakaling Hindi Makarating.

 

Ben&Ben

You've probably last seen them online, making you swoon. Or even better, on stage, making the whole crowd swoon! Their songs have been featured in other movies such as Exes Baggage, Siargao, and Goyo.

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Did You Know?

1. At the Gabi ng Parangal, Pagkilala, Pasasalamat (the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino Awards Night and Thanksgiving Celebration), LSS won a total of five awards! Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Song, Best Sound Design, Special Jury Award, and Pistapp Audience Choice Award.

2. Gabbi and Khalil are a real-life couple, which has, of course, given rise to several Instagram fan accounts because why not? They look perfect together! And their chemistry was palpable onscreen.

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3. Before he became one of the two frontmen of Ben&Ben, Miguel reveals (in a long, heartfelt post via the band's Facebook page) that he once had dreams of working in the film industry.

4. In case you didn't already know, Ben&Ben is fronted by twins Miguel and Paolo. They share the same middle name of "Benjamin," thus the band's name.

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5. Every single one of the songs and artists referenced by Zack and Sarah are real. Yes, even "Zak and Sara."

I saved the best for last:

6. At the premiere night after the movie, someone actually proposed!!! Not unlike a movie moment, Ben&Ben provided the scoring as they stood close by, gently playing background music for the guy's speech.

What My Friend Thinks:

"LSS achieves its purpose as a feel-good film with the right amount of realness. Like what we know of an 'lss,' it can be that catchy tune you happily whistle as you go about your day or that odd earworm you're not entirely sure what to do with. But you won't hate it. Have fun." Mia Marci

What I Think:

It was wonderful. 

It was a delight.

It was fantastic.

(How many more synonyms for "good and fun" can I come up with???)

Not unlike our protagonist, Sarah, music has always been a sort of driving force for me. I do not have the same talent she does, nor can I participate in making music the way she does, but I have the same strong, unquestionable love for it. (Don't we all?) So, immediately, she was relatable. Most everyone in the movie was, actually. We share this common love and it permeates our daily lives in different degrees. The movie made that clear.

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I absolutely love that the music might as well have been a character in the movie, and what a powerful character it was!

If you're out there fighting to make your dreams come true just as Sarah was, this is your fairy tale to enjoy, especially.

This was also a love story, of course. But just like the many layers it touches on with regards to music, the love showed itself in different ways. We find our romantic side cheering on the obvious pairing. Before we realize it, we're also rooting for the Zack and Ruby (Tuesday) son-and-mom team as much as we're hoping the relationship of siblings Sarah and Cedie (Elijah) survive a potential rivalry.

It genuinely surprised me to find so much going on in this movie when the trailer shows none of it, but I didn't mind it at all! I thoroughly, wholeheartedly enjoyed all of it. Like a long ride home, where the destination is key but the sightsand sounds!along the way make it even better. 

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All that to say: It wasn't quite a musical but it managed to be just as momentous. It wasn't just a rom-com. It was that and so much more.

I'd Recommend It To: 

The music lovers, the dreamers, you.

PS. You don't have to be a Ben&Ben fan to appreciate this at all but I imagine the kilig would be extra strong if you're familiar with the songs and the members.

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