Overseas Filipino Worker Joy Marie Fabregas aims to stay in Hong Kong long enough to save up money to go to Canada, where she can work as a nurse, what she went to school for, rather than a Domestic Helper, the only job she is legally allowed to work as in Hong Kong. While working at a bar to supplement her slashed income, she meets Ethan, a bartender who falls in love with her and tries his best to convince her to stay so they could start a life together. Here's why "Hello Love Goodbye" is making millions worldwide.
All the Overseas Filipino Workers taking over Hong Kong Central to hang out together on Sundays, using cardboard boxes to sit down really showcases the fact that they're able to make use of what they were given even if it's not the best, and that resourcefulness and resilience really reflects the Filipino mentality.
The pageant scene
Pageants are a huge staple for us and the pageant scene in this one does not disappoint. Everyone's talent was equally bad which made it hilarious to watch.
Ethan's two friends, his boss and the fellow bartender were awesome comic relief, such as when the boss chides Ethan for offering Joy a job at the bar without asking him first or when the other bartender continuously walks in on Joy and Ethan together.
Joy's dedication to her family
Joy has to work multiple jobs not only to save up to go to Canada, but to support her family back home. She has to work crazy hours with little time for fun, but puts on a brave face when her family FaceTimes her.
Kathryn Bernardo's acting
When you watch the movie, you believe that Kathryn Bernardo is Joy. Because the actress has never experienced misery or loneliness, the director, Cathy Garcia-Molina wouldn't let her socialize with the rest of the cast between takes or go on her phone, isolating her from her friends, family, and real-life boyfriend Daniel Padilla. This method acting resulted in a more realistic portrayal from Bernardo.
Multiple characters with disabilities
Joy's father is blind, Ethan's father can't walk, and Annie, the child Joy has to take care of, has cerebral palsy.
Mary Dale, a precious bean who must be protected at all costs
We get introduced to the world of DH's in Hong Kong by Joy's cousin Mary Dale arriving in from the Philippines and Joy's two friends explaining everything to her as they lead her through the airport. Throughout the movie, Mary Dale continually expresses her misery, but the friends brush it off as "whining" and say "she'll get used to it just like we did".
The unfortunate but true power dynamics in Asia
This film really highlighted the idea of Southeast Asians' status relative to East Asians. Joy, a Filipino, is dependent on her boss, a Chinese woman. This is a situation very true to life as OFWs in Asia often have to rely on East Asians hiring them as a way to make more money than they would back home/ for a "better" life. We never see it the other way around. Joy's relationship with her boss is reflective of real life, it does perpetuate the idea that Southeast Asians are subservient or inferior to East Asians, an idea that is present in the Philippines and results in many Filipinos' self loathing and wanting to look more Chinese or Korean.
Joy does not give up her dreams for love
Although Joy does love Ethan, she's unwilling to put all her years of hard work pursuing her nursing degree to waste and put aside her own dreams in favor of his.
Kathryn Bernardo and Alden Richards have chemistry despite not dating in real life
This was Bernardo and Richards' first ever movie without their real life partners acting as their love interests, and they had fire chemistry. For people that are surprised by that…they're actors. That's literally their job. To act. It's a huge thing in the Philippines for two actors to be paired up with each other and do multiple movies together starring as the romantic leads, and often times these two actors start dating in real life, adding to the excitement and investment of the fans. Although it's a good marketing move for an already beloved couple to be starring in yet another movie together, it's also healthy and versatile for an actor to be able to act with more than one partner, not to mention pretend to be in love with someone they're not actually dating in real life.