Tropes in Comfort Filipino Movies to Add to Your Summer Watchlist

Tropes in Comfort Filipino Movies to Add to Your Summer Watchlist


Your summer watchlist should include Filipino films that give you all the feels—and an exploration into different media tropes. Here are five to get you started.

Tropes communicate something figurative to the audience—while they could be considered the building blocks of a script, they could also be used just as elements to further the story. At their best, these familiar motifs provide screenwriters a rich creative toolkit, so if you’re having trouble scrolling through a broad selection of Filipino media for your next streaming party, here are five films that make use of cinematic metaphors that shape the movie’s narrative.

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It Takes a Man and a Woman

This Filipino romantic-comedy has all the mixings of the true high-wire act of the romance genre—second chance. It follows a relationship that dissolved at some point in the past, and new circumstances and a fast-forward setting in the timeline is an opportunity for that love to blossom once more. If that’s not enough, this is also a workplace romance which also entails forced proximity—the characters have nowhere to go but into a situation where interaction is inevitable. In this Cathy Garcia-Molina film, Laida (Sarah Geronimo) and Miggy (John Lloyd Cruz) are forced to work together in a professional capacity while neither of them are completely over their past. This film has a true sense of past love and a tension so gripping—can the romance work the second time around? 

Second chance, workplace romance, forced proximity

I’m Drunk, I Love You

The notions of unrequited love between two best friends aren’t lost in our society today. The theme “I have feelings for you, but I don’t want to risk our friendship” is seen in both media and in reality, and I’m Drunk, I Love You presents that in such a way that tugs the heartstrings. Most romance films are a colorful adventure, but JP Habac portrays the painful truth about love and friendship, and how the two are sometimes better off mutually exclusive, in Dio (Paulo Avelino) and Carson’s (Maja Salvador) story.

Unrequited love


The 2023 film by Samantha Lee is a beautiful, wholesome movie about teenager love in the realm of volleyball. This sapphic story is careful, playful, and smart, and explores a coming-of-age teenage kilig that puts its hands around your heart. For a comfort film that imbues positive emotions and a sense of reality in the all-girls school setting, consider hitting play on Rookie for an unforgettable sports romance.

Sports romance, teenage sapphic love, coming of age

That Thing Called Tadhana

The “where do broken hearts go” trope may be common, but when executed into a story woven with the thrill of the first spark, the youthful vernacular language, and an escapism into another person, it becomes a heartwarming watch. Meeting at the airport baggage counter is not exactly a meet-cute, but the distinct Pinoy flavor to Antoinette Jadaone’s pen at work makes this film so genuinely true-to-life, charming, and earnest with performances by Angelica Panganiban and JM De Guzman. 

Love and adventure, where do broken hearts go?

Never Not Love You

James Reid and Nadine Lustre go through a painful yet realistic take on love and career—the reality bites and the slice of life in this movie ask the tension-filled question, “Will their love survive out of the comforts of home and despite the different directions of their careers?” This romantic drama intricately puts into play the realistic “things change, and people change, and our love might change” theme—it’s a classic example of a simplicity and intelligent writing that leaves viewers with a heavy or a light heart—depending on how you see the ending.

Reality bites, slice of life, will our love survive despite the odds?

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