‘Hello, Love, Goodbye’ is breaking the box office records. But what made this film a success and unique from our usual Filipino romantic movies?

Hello, Love, Goodbye’—the latest Star Cinema movie is all over the news. Breaking box office records and garnering awards, the film is undeniably a big blockbuster hit. Straying from the usual pair of loveteams, the chemistry and the understated success of the Kathryn-Alden tandem has touched as well as opened the hearts of its viewers since the film’s release last July. 

As someone who grew tired of the usual love story movies in the Philippine cinema, I honestly admit that I have thought of letting the hype just pass me by. Besides, like any other Filipino movie whose trailer almost has the entire storyline in it with the usual oversaturated OPM song, ‘Hello, Love, Goodbye’ has yet again failed to pique my interest. 

The unconventional KathDen match caught us all off guard but what else was there to expect from the film? 

Like everything else in my life—my very Filipino mom “effectively” urged me to treat her to watch the movie, otherwise, this review would be nonexistent.  And so, we went ahead with the crowd and watched. Even with a pre-emptive assumption of the usual movie cliches, I quietly laid back, relaxed, as I tried to enjoy the film. 

Voila! ‘Hello, Love, Goodbye’ was a surprisingly okay film—with a decent storyline, a justified location, and characters you could empathize with.

In my opinion, this is what gave the film its success—with its in-depth storytelling that blatantly depicts the plight of OFWs. I mean, c’ mon! Everyone knows that in the midst of all the grandeur of working outside the country, Hong Kong, in particular, the film was able to able to showcase the struggles of the characters. How they felt being far away from their families and how they worked hard to send money back home. Yes, the movie was obviously a love story, but it didn’t push aside the narrative of social issues that OFWs experience outside our home country.

Some rough patches

Although the film still went through the convenient romantic geist, with some clichés and very predictable moments here and there, the film was able to capitalize on the strength of the love team as therein lies the underrated power of the actors to communicate their feelings during the quiet scenes that really brought out the sentiment of everyone watching. It was also an added bonus when the actors filled their roles in through their eyes and facial expressions, Kathryn and Alden made us witness the unraveling of love in the middle of hardships.

In spite of some down points, it was still entertaining enough to see. The performances of the actors, especially Kathryn, seemed effortless as if they were really their characters on screen. There wasn’t any moment which significantly left a mark on me, but I still greatly appreciate the discussion of social problems that gave ample time for the moviegoers to empathize, reflect and think. 

Overall, I give ‘Hello, Love, Goodbye’ an okay rating. It is a good movie, but not good enough for more than a one-time viewing. It really doesn’t stray too far from other love stories, as it does have the same storytelling DNA.

More “Hugot Theme”?

Regarding the success of the film, I think what helped was the introduction of a new pair that turned out to be effective, and the undeniable selling point of Filipinos being hopeless romantics. 

We’ve seen it again and again. But if hugot’ culture still sells, and if it helps the film industry going, then maybe we shouldn’t be too surprised with the lack of variety in our films, here’s to hoping that we get more in the next coming years. 

How about you? What can you say about ‘Hello, Love, Goodbye’? Tell us your thoughts by sending us a message on our Facebook or Twitter @UDoUPh.