Review: Love You to the Stars and Back (2017)


Been loving the Philippine Movie scene these days. I know I haven't been posting my reviews on some local films but I've watched a handful. And so far so good. Ang gaganda ng mga movies ngayon no?

And Love You to the Stars and Back is one of my favorites this year. Probably next to Kita Kita.

Oh wow! This film is just wow!

It's a road trip film. And like most road trip films it involves the actual journey and their journey to knowing each other. This film is a nice mix of comedy, romance (JoshLia's chemistry is undeniable!) and drama. DraRomCom talaga to besh!

Mika (Julia Baretto) is a weird girl who can't move on from the death of her mum. By simply looking at her bangs and hearing her talk about aliens and stuff is a dead give away of her weirdness. Some people find it funny, but I find it alarming and sad. Here is a young girl who suffered loss and is definitely lost. She is a well loved girl and you can see it but her loss is something that consumes her. Making her disregard all the love around her.

Julia did great on portraying a character with so much layers. I love her weirdness. Her quirkiness. Her pain. Dama mo talaga.

Caloy (Joshua Garcia) is that fun loving, pilyo guy with cancer. He's someone who appears positive. And when he bumped into Mika while he's on his way to meet his dad, his real journey begins...

Spoiler alert na talaga to mga besh, stop reading if you haven't watched the film yet. But please know that I really really recommend this movie!! GO and watch! Tapos balik kayo dito.

So ayun nga....

Caloy was biking across Batangas to meet his dad. His walang hiyang Tatay according to his mum. But he was there to just let her dad know that he has cancer. Sabi nga nya, "wala naman sigurong masamang Tatay kung malalaman nya na may cancer ang anak nya".

You could sense that beneath the fun-loving guy is a boy who wants his dad. Another reason to live. Another person to love. But then his father didn't even face him.

That first break out scene of Joshua and Julia is just too painful to watch. A young boy who just wants her dad. But was slapped by the truth that his mum has always told him. And a lost girl, who cares for this stranger. Ang galing ni Joshua. The pain in his eyes, damang dama. Julia's subtle, lost acting is superb too. That's also the first time she saw the effects of cancer on Caloy.

After that first break out scene, they both decided to go to Mt. Milagros to get abducted by the aliens. Yes! Both of them.

And Antoinette Jadaone has been very very effective in hiding a deeper, darker meaning to the film which I hope a lot has realized now. Behind the kilig, the comedy lies a story about teen suicide.

That journey to Mt. Milagros that Mika took when she learned about her father's new baby is more than just a road trip. When Caloy decided to not go home to his loving mum and went with Mika to Mt. Milagros after his own dad refused to meet him is an act of letting go. That moment, he decided to stop fighting.

We later learned that Caloy's mum is selling their house, his brother is selling his car just to come up with 4.5M for his operation with 50% survival rate. For him, it's too much. Too much for his loving family.

That painful scene when they both called their families to say good bye before waiting for the aliens to get them is proof of what I have always thought. That these kids, have no plans of coming back.

But then when a helicopter came, which they thought is an actual alien, they both chickened out and decided to do it in the morning instead.

The following morning, Mika saw Caloy in another break out scene. His cancer was taking it's toll on him. And when faced with the painful truth and reality of actually losing him, she realized that life is actually worth living.

It's a wonderful film. A film that made me realize that some pain are too much to bear. That some people looked okay but is actually hurting. That some people, though surrounded with so much love just needs a little bit more or at least an assurance.

I hope the kids who got to watch this would realize that at the end of the day, family is always worth living for.

I love this film. For the way the actors was able to convey the feelings needed for the film. For the way the story was told. And for being brave enough to tackle something as dark as suicide.


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