Love finds its way to Hong Kong, here in the first-ever team up of Kathryn Bernardo and Alden Richards. Here’s my review of Cathy Garcia-Molina’s ‘Hello, Love, Goodbye’
Hello, Love, Goodbye tells the story of Joy (Kathryn Bernardo), a registered nurse who works as a domestic helper in Hong Kong to provide for her family, and to be able to apply for a visa to Canada, where she can work as a nurse. One day, she meets Ethan (Alden Richards), a fellow OFW who tries to win her heart. As they’ve fallen in love with each other, a dilemma arises: will Joy leave Hong Kong and follow her dream of working as a nurse in Canada, or will she listen to her heart and stay with Ethan in Hong Kong?
This is Cathy Garcia-Molina’s best film yet, as she fully realizes her vision for this film, and with great writing from Carmi Raymundo to boot, it makes for a solid, well-executed film. The film is a romcom, but once you get past the romance, you’ll see that this film is actually all about the life and struggles of OFWs in Hong Kong. We get a peek into the lives of our fellow countrymen who strive hard to earn money for their families in a foreign country. We learn their different stories, the different ways these domestic helpers try to survive in a city far away from home. It’s a great eye-opener to those who think that OFWs live glamorous lives while being away from their families, not knowing the hell they’re going through every single day.
This is definitely Kathryn Bernardo’s best performance yet. Everyone keeps asking for more mature roles for her, and here, she has definitely matured. She was already a great actress before, but in this film, she showcases a more dynamic range of acting. She gives just the right amount of emotions, and she works well with what Alden Richards gives her. She’s proven her worth and her talent as an excellent actress. Joy is an exercise in acting for Bernardo, and she passes the test with flying colors.
Alden Richards impressed me in this film, in all fairness. I haven’t seen a lot from him in terms of acting, I usually don’t get the chance to catch his TV shows or movies so I don’t really have a good gauge in comparing his performance here with his previous work. From what I’ve seen here, he has the charisma and acting chops that come very close to John Lloyd Cruz, and to a certain extent, he’s like an older version of Joshua Garcia.
When put together on screen, there’s a unexpected and undeniable chemistry between the two. It’s quite a refreshing experience to see this pairing, which adds to the overall appeal of the movie. They also never overdo the romance and the dramatics, they give just the right amount of emotions to each other without having to resort to the usual theatrics.
The film looks great. The colors are just right, bringing just the right amount of vibrancy compared to other Star Cinema films where everything seems to be so colorful and bright and perky, almost like a fantasy. Hong Kong is highlighted in the film, and it’s probably the most important character in the film. We follow these characters as their world revolves around Hong Kong, and we see how the country has shaped them as individuals, and how it has affected their way of life.
There’s still a good amount of the usual Star Cinema formula in here, from the meet cutes, to the quirky bestfriends who weirdly say everything they think of in unison, the “quotable quotes”, and of course, there are some unimportant subplots that don’t really move the story forward. The thing is, none of these things bothered me at all, knowing that what I was watching was a Star Cinema film, and they didn’t really hinder my enjoyment of the film.
Hello, Love, Goodbye is Star Cinema’s best romcom in years, simply because it gets everything just right. It features great performances and surprising chemistry from Bernardo and Richards, it has an interesting story to boot, and it’s not afraid to tell its story in a way that’s different from its peers. It’s shaping up to be one of Star Cinema’s classics, and it truly deserves it.
My Rating: 9/10
Here’s the full trailer for ‘Hello, Love, Goodbye’: