She's Dating the Gangster full movie review - Excellent Chemistry Times Two!
Kenji delos Reyes is one of the passengers of a plane that crashed en route to Bicol. His son Kenneth, a rebellious teenager who just wished his dad dead the night before, wants to go there to look for him.
Kelay is a kooky girl who also wants to look for Mr. delos Reyes because she wants to reunite him with his first love, her aunt Athena, who is on her death bed. As typical local rom-coms go, Kenneth and Kelay start out hating each others guts. As circumstances forced to them to take a long road trip to Bicol together, Kenneth gets to know his dad more and the pivotal role Athena played in his father's life.
This film is by now a certified blockbuster and for good reason, it is very good as far as local mainstream films go. A big part of its success is the superb casting of today's most popular teen love team, Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo, both as Kenneth and Kelay of the present day, and Kenji and Athena of a generation ago. It was also an inspired casting coup to get the biggest love team twenty years ago, Richard Gomez and Dawn Zulueta to play the senior Kenji and Athena.
Both sets of actors have so much positive chemistry with each other that it radiates through the screen into the movie theater. They do not even have to speak to titillate their rapt audiences. The best scenes of the film did not have words: Daniel riding to school on his skateboard, Kathryn smiling with her new haircut, Richard carrying Dawn from the wheelchair to the bench, Dawn radiantly coming into view from the bedroom. Director Cathy Garcia-Molina knows how to use the best assets of her actors to convey the most emotion, even without words.