It is one of the top-grossing Filipino films of the year. The film also receives mostly positive reviews from critics.
The film is based on real-life stories of Filipino caregivers abroad. Director Roño searched for stories of their lives abroad and personally talked to some who shared their experiences. Roño has friends who work as caregivers; their real-life scenarios were directly depicted in the film. The cast includes British actors namely: Saul Reichlin, Matthew Rutherford, and Claire Jeater.
The rest of the film was shot in Roosevelt College Rodriguez. The scenes here include the part where Sarah was still studying as a caregiver student.
Sarah Gonzales (Sharon Cuneta), a grade school English teacher, joins the 150,000 OFWs working in the United Kingdom to support her husband, Teddy Gonzales (John Estrada), in making a better living for their family. More than just a chronicle of the Filipino experience working as nurses and caregivers in the U.K., this story also charts Sarah's journey to self-discovery – from a submissive wife who makes sacrifices to make way for her Teddy's aspirations to an empowered woman who finds dignity and pride in a humbling job as a caregiver in London.
The story begins as Sarah says goodbye to her familiar world. After finishing an arduous course in caregiving, she bids farewell to the Grade 5 classroom where she teaches English. She buys a winter coat for her son Paulo (John Manalo) and promises he will use it once she can afford to take him to London. In typical Pinoy fashion, she shares tearful goodbyes with her whole family at the airport when she finally leaves for the United Kingdom.
Sarah arrives in London. At their apartment, she and Teddy share a passionate reunion. In a honeymoon mood, he takes her to the beautiful sights around London. While window-shopping at a famous mall, Sarah meets Sean (Makisig Morales), a spunky Filipino boy, as he tries to shoplift chocolate bars.
After the initial fleeting period of excitement, she experiences the hard challenges every Filipino caregiver faces every day: cold weather, dirty work and difficult patients.
Meanwhile, Teddy also struggles with the daily grind in the hospital where he works. He is stressed and drinks often because he has failed the nursing test twice.
Despite the difficulty of adjusting to London life, however, Sarah faithfully stands by her Teddy. She tries to make the most of the situation by doing her best at work and earns the respect of Mr. Morgan, a wealthy old man. Teddy is oblivious to her success, however, as he is absorbed in his own problems with work. Sarah finds solace in her friendship with Mr. Morgan and his son David, who seems to appreciate her more than Teddy does, and with Sean, who eases her longing for her own son.
Tension rises between Sarah and Teddy as the stress of London life takes its toll on their marriage. Because of mounting conflict both at work and home, Teddy decides to give up. He tells Sarah that they are going back to the Philippines.
Sarah finds it very hard to accept Teddy's decision. She knows that staying in London is the best thing for their family, because returning to the Philippines would only mean going back to the same problems they had before. Will Sarah choose to remain by Teddy's side to keep her family intact? Or will she find the strength to stay in London to continue seeking a better life for her son, even if it means losing her marriage?Sharon Cuneta as Sarah Gonzales
John Estrada as Theodore "Teddy" Gonzales
John Manalo as Paulo "Pau" Gonzales
Rica Peralejo as Karen
Jhong Hilario as Joseph
Saul Reichlin as William Morgan
Matthew Rutherford as David Morgan
Claire Jeater as Margaret Morgan
Makisig Morales as Sean
Mickey Ferriols as Julia
Julia Montes as Anna
Lotlot De Leon as Betty
Marita Zobel as Nemie
Anita Linda as Lola Miling
Cheska Billiones as Sarah's student
Consuelo Bilcliffe as Ditas
Caregiver is released under Star Cinema, which marks the company's fifteenth year in service. The year 2008 also marks Cuneta's 30th anniversary in the industry, and the film serves as offering to fans.
The film was also released in international cinemas. Caregiver had its premiere in Alex Theatre in Glendale, California on May 31, 2008. Many Filipino caregivers working far from California travelled in to watch the film. It was released in late June and early July 2008 to several Middle East countries, including Qatar and Dubai.