Veteran director Erik Matti insists that his new endeavour is not a rom-com. While trying to dissect modern relationships through a candid lens, he lends the audience a carnal peek into the tricky world of dating in the 2020s. Throughout, he does not shy away from the impatience and sexuality of young love, while addressing perennial topics like same-sex relationships and what consensual sex exactly is, at the same time.
Regardless of whether you’re a fan of teen dramas or a lover of unfiltered romance, A Girl and A Guy reels viewers in. The movie, which you can stream it now on upstream.ph, depicts the individual paths of a girl (“Fiona”, portrayed by Alexa Miro) and a guy (“Raf”, portrayed by Rob Gomez) that are destined to converge. When will they get together and will they fight to stay together? This uncertainty kept us glued.
The story of Fiona and Raf takes viewers through a gauntlet of emotions, from butterflies in one’s stomach and the guilt of guilty pleasures to the pain of betrayal and the anxiety that comes with unrequited love. Matti wanted the passion and real-life struggles of A Girl and A Guy to resonate with both Gen Z-ers and older generations. He also doesn’t water down the unimaginable things that passion can drive lovers to do to one another.
We enjoyed the idiosyncratic, magnetic characters of A Girl and A Guy, which Matti used to depict the different kinds of people we might meet in our own circles. He portrays them exaggerated, almost jocular light, while using an array of mixed media in his storytelling. Many scenes are painstakingly illustrated and accentuated with special effects and quixotic animations. Matti’s chaotic storytelling style of hopping between daydreams and long-drawn tension, took us through a rollercoaster ride of climatic highs and heart-wrenching lows.
Is every one of us meant to find love? Perhaps, but the journey can prove to be quite an odyssey, Matti seems to be commentating. Matti also reminds us of the incredulous hoops that we jump through, in the hopes of finding love.
What is real love in the age of instant messaging and social media? A Girl and A Guy explores how this generation’s penchant for overworking can adversely impact personal lives, and how the excitement of waiting and waiting for a partner’s phone call has been replaced by few-and-far-between text messages. Are intimate affairs private anymore, and how much of ourselves are we expected to showcase to the peers and strangers around us? A Girl and A Guy discusses how elusive modern love can be. Might you potentially be swiping left on the love of your life or swiping right on yet another passionate but empty hook up? This romantic R18 drama points out how heartbreak is often more excruciating than physical pain.
Some movie buffs remember Erik Matti best for his high-octane action flick BuyBust (2018), which revolved around the risky missions of Manila’s anti-narcotics task force and starred former UFC fighter Brandon Vera. Others love the slow-grind storytelling of Honor Thy Father (2015), where a family embroiled in a scam fights tooth and nail out of a dire financial situation. In trademark Erik Matti style, A Girl and A Guy’s passion-filled scenes are raunchy and undiluted, a calling card that was already present in Matti’s earliest movies like Scorpio Nights 2 (1999).
Possessing a penchant for building tension and showcasing carnal passion and aggression, Matti’s fingerprints are all over A Girl and A Guy. Fans of Matti’s work might recognise his love for emotional conflict and shocking twists, in both A Girl and A Guy, and On the Job (2013), which retold the real-life story of military officials and politicians releasing convicts from jail to help assassinate their enemies.
The Girl and The Guy
Lead actress Alexa Miro’s foray in the spotlight came at a young age when she made her debut on Filipino daytime TV. Before her big break as a teen drama heartthrob, one of Miro’s most memorable gigs was modelling in a hamburger commercial that many Filipinos distinctly remember. Since then she’s been making a name for herself through lauded performances in films like Ipaglaban mo (2014) and Simplicity (2018).
Not many people are aware that Rob Gomez comes from the ultra-famous Ejercito-Estrada clan. The budding actor revealed that he took the family name of his mother, former actress Kate Gomez, citing that he “wants to start his own journey”.
The versatile emcee, singer and dancer shared during a Zoom press conference: “At first, we thought that going with ‘Estrada’ was the more striking choice. If anything, it would be an advantage. I love (my family) and respect everything they have done, but there are already many Estradas who are also very good actors. Gomez, whose grandparents too were household names, made his debut in the comedy series Pidol’s Wonderland when he was barely a tween.
You can watch A Girl and A Guy here.
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