2

Staff & contributors

, 2023

If there are parts to Rookie's story that seem too easily resolved—for the sake of making this more of a feel-good movie—these shortcuts still serve a genuinely romantic central relationship that develops in the most organic way possible. Besides the school's stifling conservatism, there's nothing that really stands in the way of Ace and Jana's blossoming connection. By immediately advancing its depiction of queer love beyond the self-acceptance stage (where so many other films get stuck), Rookie is allowed to show us two girls in love and supporting each other, as the normal and beautiful thing it should be. It doesn't hurt either that the movie is pretty entertaining as a sports film, with just enough flash in its editing and sound design to sell the frantic energy of a game wherein you want to impress the person you have a crush on.

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Actor: Agot Isidro, Alyssa Valdez, Aya Fernandez, Che Ramos, Jelaica Gajero, Mikoy Morales, Pat Tingjuy, Simon Ibarra

Director: Samantha Lee

Mae is a hopeless romantic looking for love and more clients for her custom t-shirts. After a meet-cute at the grocery store, she turns to an app called Missed Connections to find him. After they finally meet, Mae realizes he has a connection with someone else. Now determined to make him fall in love with her, she hires him to rebuild her website. As a rom-com, the comedy isn't particularly outstanding or noticeable. The romance, and Mae, are hard to root for, especially when her obsessions go too far, her slut-shaming goes unchecked, and it all lasts for 90% of the film without any real cathartic resolutions. 

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Actor: Chie Filomeno, JC Santos, Kelvin Miranda, Matet De Leon, Miles Ocampo

Director: Jelise Chung