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Hibiscus & Ruthless garners raves
It's like watching your own family on the big screen

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Samoan writer and director, Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa has outdone himself. Coming off the huge success of his first feature film, Three Wise Cousins, which captivated sold-out crowds in the territory two years ago, his newest release is expected to bring in bigger audiences and better reviews, as the storyline is so real that anyone — specifically Samoans — watching the movie will be able to relate.

There is a very strict mother; an obedient, hardworking daughter who battles with her feelings and uncertainties; a grandmother who is the voice of reason; bachelors trying to chase down the beauty with brains; and the overprotective friend who is the life of the party — All things one would find in a typical Samoan family, whether here in American Samoa, in Samoa, or Samoan households across the world.

"Fantastic". "Awesome". "A must-see". "Definitely worth paying to watch it a second time" — these are some of the feedback and comments Samoa News received from some of the viewers who were lucky enough to get tickets to attend last Thursday evening's "Meet and Greet" premiere of the movie, at the Regal Nuuuli Place Cinemas.

Those who were there had the chance to shake hands with the cast and crew, even take multiple photos with them — something Vaiaoga-Ioasa said was part of their plan, to get close to the fans by being "on the ground."

"People want to be able to actually meet, touch, and speak to the actors. It's rare to have Polynesian people on screen," he said in an interview with Samoa News the day before. "Actors are usually out of reach or distant; but having them within arm's reach is 'very special'."

When Samoa News approached Vaiaoga-Ioasa following Thursday's premiere to ask for feedback as far as the turnout, the movie director said, "We are very humbled by the number of people who showed up."

When told that Hibiscus & Ruthless was, in our opinion, a much more solid film than Three Wise Cousins, Vaiaoga-Ioasa and another crew member smiled and said, "That was the goal. To make something better, something real, something that people can relate to."

Through a media release, he said this about his new film - “It’s a slice of life, with a unique perspective into a strict Pacific household, with plenty of laughs along the way … With Three Wise Cousins, we saw that there was a very significant audience worldwide that is hungry for such universal stories that have a strong Pacific backbone.” He added, "This is us — being able to tell our own stories."

The cast and crew departed the territory the very next morning, Friday, and they are en route to Hawai'i where the film is set to be featured June 8th. The promotional tour has already taken the movie to Samoa, Australia, New Zealand, and now American Samoa. After a stop in the Aloha State, the entourage will continue on to the US mainland where Samoa News understands there is a high demand for the film.

The PG-13 rated film has been dubbed "probably the best comedy to come out of New Zealand in a long time." And Samoa News agrees.

For media enquiries, contact Niko Toluono at +6421 827 349 or


M2S1 Films is a production company founded by Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa. Its first feature film was Three Wise Cousins, which was released worldwide in 2015. Proceeds from Three Wise Cousins went to funding Hibiscus & Ruthless. M2S1 stands for Measure Twice, Shoot Once.