How Enrique Gil and a Mitsubishi Strada ruined a fine ending

We don’t blame the pickup, though
by Jason Tulio | Feb 24, 2019
PHOTO: Black Sheep
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Warning: If you plan to see the latest LizQuen movie but haven’t yet, we suggest you stop right here. There’s plenty of spoilers up ahead. Got it? You’ve been warned.

Okay, here we go.

Alone/Together is the latest film starring the love team of Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano. But we’re sure you already know about it. The teaser for the film went viral a few weeks ago, so its recent cinematic release had a lot of hype behind it.

The story is about UP Diliman Art Studies major Christine and her blossoming romance with wayward UST Biology student Raf. The two fall in love as they make their way through college, but they break up after Christine loses her first job. Years go by and the two see each other again, and though they’re now in relationships with other people, it’s clear there are still some sparks between them.

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What follows is pretty standard romantic-movie fare: The two end up in New York, where their love rekindles, though it’s a bit complicated given their ongoing relationships. Raf reveals that he broke up with his girlfriend Aly (played by an underutilized Jasmine Curtis-Smith) before flying to New York, but he and Christine still end up on bad terms before returning home. At the airport in Manila, Raf finds out that Aly is pregnant, so he ends things with Christine to go take care of his new family.

Before we get to the ending, we first have to address what this review is doing on TopGear.com.ph in the first place. You see, Raf drives a Mitsubishi Strada—to be specific, an older variant with the hockey-stick-style grille. The pickup is everywhere in the movie—it’s in the background of the hospital scenes when Raf is already a doctor, and it’s next to Raf and Christine when they have their first kiss again as working adults. The Strada plays a part in the finale, too.

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The scene leading up to the ending shows Christine at her new job in a museum. Now single again and back to pursuing her true passion, she monologues that she and Raf never spoke after the pregancy reveal, lamenting that sometimes, things don’t work out and you’re only left with beautiful memories to look back on and rebuild yourself with. It’s a risky move concluding a romance film with that, especially when this genre typically has a happy ending. Kudos, filmmakers.

But alas, as Christine steps out of the museum, she glances ahead and begins to smile. What’s she looking at, you ask? Why, Raf, of course, smiling all smug with his cliched tropes and convenient plot timing as he leans against his Strada. He has a child now, but his relationship with Aly didn’t work out (how very convenient), so he and Christine finally end up together. The end. Yawn.

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Now, we’re not placing the blame on the Strada for the hackneyed ending. That’s on the filmmakers for prioritizing revenue over telling a good story. Still, by the end of the movie, you associate the Strada with Raf, and seeing it one last time on screen left a sour taste in our mouths. 

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