There is a trend now in Filipino romantic movies where there is a lot of talking. It harkens back to Before Sunrise and its sequels and it was cemented in Philippine cinema, in my opinion, by That Thing Called Tadhana and its success at the box office. A lot, if not all, Filipino romantic movies are about people talking about their feelings, long drawn dialogue of the couple arguing over love and it carries with it the baggage of huge culture and while a lot of these films aren’t done well, Meet Me in St. Gallen does it right.
Read my review here: ‘Meet Me in St. Gallen” is the talky romantic film done right (ClickTheCity).
Irene Emma Villamor’s fantastic script and dynamic direction focuses on the magnificent chemistry of Bela Padilla and the wonderful Carlo Aquino. I think Bela Padilla is wonderful here but this is almost the same performance I saw from her in Camp Sawi and I need to see her do something completely different for me to praise her without reservations in another movie. Otherwise, I’d think she’s a great actress but with limited range.
Carlo Aquino, though, acts with his whole body. His tension work and his ability to telegraph the whole inner world of his character is quite a marvel to watch.
And while I have reservations of the overall theme of the film, the script in terms of its dialogue is wonderful. It allows the characters to exist and be regular people but what they discuss has a point and when it’s made, it pulls away. Other films that are talky like this are oftentimes overwritten. Meet Me in St. Gallen is not overwritten. It’s tight and focused and precise.
It’s very well done.