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Staff & contributors

Joy is a dutiful, overseas Filipino worker supporting her entire family back home. Ethan is a well-off bartender who has, time and again, put himself first before others. They couldn’t be any more different, yet in Hong Kong, their alien status and ambitious goals make them kindred spirits. What starts as a low-stakes bond quickly turns into an essential relationship, one that puts their personal commitments to the test. 

Hello, Love, Goodbye may appear formulaic at first, but it is heightened by a keen understanding of life overseas. It avoids romanticizing the migrant experience and sees it for what it truly is: a harsh but necessary means to an end. If this seems too severe, it’s also softened by an enchanting romance and some welcome comic relief in the form of the pair’s friends. Because of this nice mix, it’s no surprise that Hello, Love, Goodbye instantly broke domestic records and remains the highest-grossing Filipino movie of all time. 

Genre: Drama, Romance

Actor: Alden Richards, Jameson Blake, Jeffrey Tam, Jerome Ponce, Joross Gamboa, Kaka Bautista, Kakai Bautista, Kathryn Bernardo, Lito Pimentel, Lovely Abella, Maricel Laxa, Maxine Medina, Maymay Entrata, William Lorenzo

Director: Cathy Garcia-Molina, Cathy Garcia-Sampana

Rating: TV-PG

Built entirely around the star power of its lead performers, A Very Good Girl does, indeed, provide ample opportunities for both Kathryn Bernardo and Dolly de Leon to chew the scenery with wild abandon. But even their most campily delivered one-liners are only entertaining in the moment, as the film twists itself into increasingly complicated (and still oddly sanitized) knots to keep its thrills going. It ends with an incredibly muddled view of the kinds of violence perpetrated by the wealthy and the less fortunate, as if the studio funding the movie prevented it from becoming the bolder, edgier story it seems to want to be.

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Thriller

Actor: Althea Ruedas, Ana Abad-Santos, Angel Aquino, Chie Filomeno, Dolly de Leon, Donna Cariaga, Gabby Padilla, Gillian Vicencio, Iwa Moto, Jake Ejercito, Joji Vitug, Kaori Oinuma, Kathryn Bernardo

Director: Petersen Vargas

Rating: NR