Ethan will continue sending friend requests even if Joy declined several times already. He will make the radio station talk about Joy in public without her permission. He will use another phone to text Joy anonymously. He will act like a police even if Joy is weeping out of fear. He will squeeze through inside a small room knowing that Joy will be uncomfortable. He will continually send "Need a friend today?" text messages even if Joy has rejected it so many times. I don't know how a Filipino girl reacts to such moves, but if people consider this as "nakakakilig," there's a problem.
'Hello, Love, Goodbye' is at its best when it tells the story of Kathryn Bernardo's character, Joy. In some ways, the film manages to outdo similar mainstream Filipino romance films because of Kathryn Bernardo's stunning performance and the earnest depiction of OFWs. Bernardo, whose acting holds the film together when it was falling apart, effectively evokes a palpable sense of weariness, discontent, and eagerness to alleviate Joy's situation. Actually, I can do without the 'La La Land' love story if the social commentary was strengthened and expounded more. In a similar vein with 'Sunday Beauty Queen,' the film resonates with Filipinos because of its sensible portrayal of what it is like to work abroad in a job you are overqualified in.
But Cathy Garcia-Molina's picture falls apart as the annoying, melodramatic score continues to play in the background, tackier drone shots are added, and more forced, "hugot" dialogues are delivered by the leads. Sure, this is how cliché-ridden mainstream Filipino romance plays out. But how I wish we get movies that transcend this generic romantic stratagem. 'Hello, Love, Goodbye' fails to offer something new to romance movies as an art form, which is disappointing since the OFW story and Joy's arc have so much potential.