By Denise Fernandez
The last film we saw of Julia Barretto and Joshua Garcia (JoshLia, for all you stans out there) was 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival hit Vince & Kath & James. Now they’re back for a (literal) star-studded romance movie called Love You to the Stars and Back, helmed by On the Wings of Love and That Thing Called Tadhana director Antoinette Jadaone.
The film follows Mika and Caloy, who meet on the road while Mika drives to Mt. Milagros so she can communicate with aliens. What started as a simple road trip ends with laughs, tears, and a whole lot of feels that even we couldn’t handle in one go. And like extraterrestrials themselves, this movie needs to be seen to be believed. It didn’t get that much hype on social media for nothing.
If you need more convincing, say no more. Here are reasons why you’ve got to catch it while it’s still in theaters now.
1. Nostalgic feelings
Love You to the Stars and Back gives us major throwbacks such as the use of Moonstar 88 classic “Torete” as its main theme song, re-recorded by singer Moira dela Torre. A lot of social media users have also pointed out the similarities of the #JoshLia ship with an old favorite love team–Rico Yan and Claudine Barretto. The film brings back memories of the early 2000s and late ’90s thanks to these aspects and we’re here for it.
2. Characters you can root for
In the movie, we have Julia Barretto’s Mika and Joshua Garcia’s Caloy. Both are quirky in their own ways–Mika is a firm believer in aliens and Caloy is a happy-go-lucky and playful guy who happens to stumble upon Mika during her journey to Mt. Milagros. It’s really hard to make a movie with only two characters for most of the film, but Mika and Caloy were loveable, relatable, fun, and had the best chemistry you could ask for in a romance. It just worked.
3. Witty banter and overall great dialogue
Antoinette Jadaone (who’ll be speaking in our next Scout Creative Talks!) has proven herself once again in not just directing, but screenwriting as well. The banter between Mika and Caloy was always compelling to listen to and the jokes got audiences laughing out loud. For a film relying heavily on dialogue between two people, not once was it ever pretentious.
4. Believable portrayal of cancer
Minor spoilers! But if you’d watched the trailer already, you’d know that Joshua Garcia’s character is diagnosed with leukemia. Don’t be fooled–this ain’t no The Fault in Our Stars where cancer and sadness are heavily romanticized. It also isn’t used as a petty escape into drama. Throughout the whole film, you get to see how the sickness not just affects Caloy, but his family as well. Props to the team behind the movie for not using it as a shallow trope and Joshua Garcia for delivering in this role.
5. It’ll make you believe in fate and love
I know, it sounds completely cheesy. Maybe you won’t walk out of the theater believing in aliens like Mika, but it will bring back your faith in love as a force strong enough to keep you holding on, no matter what your situation is. Destiny also plays a huge part in this star-crossed piece and perhaps you’ll start believing in that too. Love You to the Stars and Back is hopeful, refreshing, and total proof that you don’t need a crazy dramatic plot to keep a romance interesting.
Watch the trailer for Love You to the Stars and Back: