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Staff & contributors

Third World Romance is what it says in the tin– it’s a love story that blooms in the rundown side of the capital of a developing country. The plot is familiar, especially for people familiar with Filipino rom coms, but writer-director Dwein Baltazar approaches this with a grounded approach. With fancy dinner dates substituted with shared packed rice meals and emotional apologies interrupted by their shifts in the grocery, Bree and Alvin carve out a love that still feels passionate, perhaps made even more so, as they navigate a city where they are disenfranchised. Charlie Dizon and Carlo Aquino’s excellent performances keep their characters’ struggles real, but also make their love feel joyful in spite of that.

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Actor: Ana Abad-Santos, Archie Adamos, Carlo Aquino, Charlie Dizon, Donna Cariaga, Gardo Versoza, Iyah Mina, Jun Jun Quintana

Director: Dwein Ruedas Baltazar

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