Did you enjoy the 90’s US movie She’s All That? Did you know that there is an even more entertaining and romantic Filipino version titled Just The Way You Are? We didn’t either…until now, that is. Join Clkytta and Kmuse (and the Maknae, who tagged along) as they chat about why this movie is better than the original as they continue their journey through Filipinio rom-coms.
Drake gets into a betting game with his best friend, which involves courting the unsuspecting Sophia. When Sophia finally falls for him, Drake must tell her that everything was just a game. A bet.
Enrique Gil – Drake
Liza Soberano – Sophia
WARNING: MOVIE SPOILERS AHEAD
Karie the Maknae: I actually noticed the cinematography this time! There weren’t sweeping shots of the countryside, but I definitely got a feel for the busy-ness of the town, contrasted with the lush tropical greenery that was EVERYWHERE. Everything felt crowded, but there was still beauty.
KMUSE: Ha. I am rubbing off on my fellow fangirls with my love of cinematography techniques. However, this time I didn’t notice much past Drake’s hair. Can we just say that the poodle look is not one that should become a sweeping fashion trend? I still am in awe that he got his hair that big. An 80’s high school girl would be extremely jealous over his technique.
CLKYTTA: All I could see was the HAIR, it needed it’s own zip code (90210?)! Seriously how did he get it that high and that floofy?
Karie the Maknae: Beat for beat, this measured right up with She’s All That. Adjustments were made for culture and location, of course, but overall it felt a lot like to the American version to me, though far less crude (YAY). I don’t know if I liked it better than the American version, but they had a similar feel and depth, in my opinion.
KMUSE: I loved this version of the story. They smoothed out all the mean guy and girl vibes that were offputting. Not to mention the romance was so sweet. I loved how quickly Drake switched from wanting to win a bet to wanting to really date Sophia. I also loved that there was not some mystical makeover which made him suddenly show interest. Drake was fully in before she got her braces off and became “pretty”. A very sweet show which made me just smile.
CLKYTTA: I liked this version better, and here’s why, the romance was much more believable. Drake fell for her hard and fast and everyone knew it, even our resident Mean Girl. He saw her before she was “pretty” and he liked her as a person. The makeover was less of the major plot point in the original and more of a natural progression of him liking her (wait have I watched way too many dramas that now I fully expect a makeover?).
Random Character Observations:
Karie the Maknae: So Sophia is supposed to be a nerdy loser, but even though she keeps to herself and still has braces (THE HORROR), she has a core of self-confidence that keeps her from being truly lost in this new high school world. It made her transformation less unexpected, in my mind, which robbed it of its impact. On the other hand, I loved how much she loved her little brother.
Drake himself lost the brash and cocky stance pretty quickly, as soon as he understood what it was to really have a relationship with Sophia. I want to applaud this, but I was distracted by his HAIR. Omo, that hair. It was a character all by itself.
What I really appreciated was the depth of the side stories — Sophia and Drake had to come to an understanding with their very human fathers, and they had great friends supporting them. Honestly, I want to see a movie about the romance between Driana, Drake’s twin sister and Sophia’s BFF, and Andre, Drake’s BFF.
KMUSE: As I stated above, I really clicked with these characters. I enjoyed how they both realized and admitted to their emotional issues and worked to get past them. Sure, it created a lot less angst than we usually see in these type of movies, but since I was not looking for angst, I was happy.
If I could change one thing, it would be adding in more of his BFF (who I found hilarious. I couldn’t stop laughing when he was forced to do a fake pregnancy scare on his mom.) and her friends. I felt they were underused in the second half of the movie. Thankfully, the mean girl was pretty much taken out of this story all together. Something I was very thankful for since those type of characters always piss me off.
CLKYTTA: I loved the love between our OTP, and I felt like we had some good character growth from both of them. The relationship that really got me was Sophia’s love for her brother, you could feel the agony while they were apart. I hated the dads, I don’t remember them being so horrible in the first movie, but they just had very little redeeming qualities at all to me in this one.
Karie the Maknae: I wouldn’t classify this movie as better than She’s All That. I wouldn’t say it’s worse, either. It’s different, and the characters are softer and less spunky. I think that’s the part I kept waiting for — more sass! But they were unbelievably sweet together and I enjoyed that aspect of the movie.
KMUSE: I liked it much more than She’s All That and plan on watching this movie again next time real life gets to be a bit to much.
CLKYTTA: I think this version is worth a second watch, but it made me want to watch She’s All That again too. I think this movie is better though, simply because it’s less mean girls out to get the outcast and more cute guy discovers his Cinderella. I have to argue with Karie though, I don’t think they are less spunky, I think it’s that they didn’t have as much to fight against.
(Gentle Viewer Alert: There was a little bit of swearing, and a strip-tease bet in the beginning, but nothing beyond a PG level, in my opinion.)
Til our next movie adventure,
Kmuse & Clkytta (and me! and me!)
Dramas With a Side of Kimchi