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After the success of Barcelona: A Love Untold, the Filipino love team KathNiel — made up of Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla — returns to the silver screen in a romantic comedy Can’t Help Falling In Love, which will hit UAE cinemas from April 20.

Directed by Mae Cruz-Alviar and with a story and screenplay by Carmi Raymundo and Kristine Gabriel, the film is a lighthearted film that is centred around Gab dela Cuesta (Bernardo), a high-strung career woman who is engaged to her longtime boyfriend.

Gab’s well-planned life goes upside down when she discovers that she is married to a complete stranger — the happy-go-lucky trip leader Dos Gonzales, portrayed by Padilla.

“What makes you say yes to forever is the lesson that you will get from this movie. That’s what we hope that we can impart to the audience,” said Cruz-Alviar during a virtual press conference with Dubai media.

“It’s a lesson on commitment, it’s a lesson on what will make you commit knowing that it’s difficult and you will not think of getting separated.”

Raymundo added: “There are so many values to learn from this movie. First is commitment. We are tackling a story here about marriage and annulment. It will solidify the value of commitment — what is lifetime commitment.”

The real conflict begins as Gab and Dos figure out how they ended up as a married couple. In the process, Gab starts breaking her own rules to survive their confusing situation — and she finds herself falling for Dos.

“More than just the romance comedy, they should look forward to the story,” says Bernardo. “It’s not just a simple love story — it’s an adventure. How will they fix the annulment? What will Gab learn when she meets Dos? How will it change her as person?”

Raymundo says the movie wants to portray how a person is transformed as she confronts unexpected challenges. “The kind of woman we want Kathryn to portray in this movie is a very strong woman, a very modern woman and at the end of the day you can see the growth of Gab in the movie.”

Bernardo and Padilla have been one of the Philippines’ best love teams for six years. Having starred in a string of television and movie projects, Bernardo and Padilla now take on more mature roles.

“It’s good that we are not stuck in the same roles,” says Padilla. “People can always see something new from me and Kathryn. The movie is not all about giving ‘kilig’ [romantic excitement]... we always have depth in our stories.”

Although they have been partners on and off the screen for years, 21-year-old Bernardo and 22-year-old Padilla continue to learn new things from each other.

Challenge

“We still discover new things about each other. The longer you work together, the more you will know the person better — the things he wants, he doesn’t like,” tells Bernardo.

“Over the years, I’ve learned how to handle those things and how things work. That’s the hardest thing working [with the same person] for more than five years — you have to think ‘what more can we do?’ That’s the challenge for us every time.”

Padilla says the past five years have taught him how to appreciate his partner even more.

“More than the discoveries, we learn how to understand each other. Now, we accept or understand each other better compared with before when we easily quarrel over with things or when we disagree. We learn to adjust with each other, especially with our work. We have grown together and we can see the maturity.”

Can’t Help Falling In Love also stars Matteo Guidicelli with a supporting cast headed by Cherry Pie Picache, Lito Pimentel, Lotlot De Leon, Dennis Padilla and Joross Gamboa.

It also features Janus Del Prado, Kristel Fulgar, Pinky Amador, Johnny Revilla, Hannah Ledesma, Devon Seron, Chienna Filomeno, Earl Ignacio, Nina Dolino, Belle Mariano and Clarence Delgado.

For the first time in the Middle East, Can’t Help Falling In Love will also have an advanced screening for fans on April 19 at 8pm at Novo Cinema Festival City. The film releases across the UAE on April 20.