Five imaginary movies we’d love to see KathNiel make

Can ‘Kathniel’ get any bigger? After the blockbuster success of ‘Crazy Beautiful You’, we’re playing fantasy football with everyone’s favorite love team and drafting ideas for their next vehicles.

Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla are on the cusp of something that only comes once a movie-going generation. They’re the love team of the era in a way that the love teams of the last few generations were not. They’re not only potent box-office draws — they’re a full-fledged phenomenon, the kind that appeals to both Star Cinema’s target market and private school colegialas who will confess to liking them in between raves about Lorde and the new Pusheen stickers. They embody the generation while at the same time, transcending it. Think Marvin and Jolens. Think Guy and Pip.

Their first real vehicle, She’s Dating the Gangster, killed at the box office but also managed to have real staying power in the collective consciousness. They’ve inspired memes, Instagram captions, declarations of love, and fan wars. How much bigger can they get? In the masterful hands of the Star Magic team, sky’s the limit. At this point, there’s a formula and it’s just a matter of toying with it.

As huge Kathniel fans ourselves, we couldn’t help but want to throw some ideas in the ring. After all, nothing spells love like wanting the best for your favorite love teams. May they never be saddled with generic rom-com fare.

50 SHADES AND GREY

Talk about a color story. 50 Shades and Grey may tip its hat to the E.L. James classic but the comparisons end there. This is about Melissa (Kathryn Bernardo), a girl on a mission to collect 50 pairs of Sunnies Studios sunglasses so she can #prompose to Miko (Enrique Gil), the love of her life and, unfortunately, a moneyed brat who won’t give her the time of day. Every day, she saves up her baon and goes to the mall to buy a pair of Sunnies. As their top suki, she eventually becomes friends with the kiosk’s scrappy but charismatic sales boy Grey (Daniel Padilla), who openly wonders why any guy would need 50 pairs of trendy sunglasses before falling for a girl like her.

She’s devoted to the guy because she has fantasies of becoming a Rockwell princess after they marry. Sales boy thinks she can do better, teaching her that life isn’t about being cool and love isn’t about material possessions, no matter what Destiny’s Child taught her. “Mas maganda ka kay Georgina, mas cool ka kay Martine, at mas classy ka kay Bea — di mo lang alam,” he tells her.

At the end, he reveals himself to be Charlie — the Charlie of the former Sunnies by Charlie and the prince of an eyewear fortune. He gets his girl. She gets his prince. (Featuring cameos by Georgina Wilson, Martine Cajucom, and Bea Soriano.)

SHE & HIM & HE & HER

My boyfriend’s lover’s lover. In this progressive Skylight Films gambit, Ina (Bernardo) is concerned that her boyfriend Alfonso (Padilla) might be falling out of love with her. She’s shocked when she finds out it’s because he’s falling for his next-door neighbor, the perpetually shirtless, basketball-playing dreamboat of a tambay sa kanto Anton (James Reid). Gutted, she ends up seeking comfort with Mara (Nadine Lustre), Anton’s baby mama, and finds herself falling for the carefree girl. Things come to a head when Ina and Mara start going at it in Mara’s house, only to realize that Anton and Alfonso are going at it in the other room. Really shocking indie stuff!

Sexuality is fluid but can bisexuality be addressed in mainstream Philippine cinema? Surely, Ma’am Charo, the woman who starred in the mold-breaking Mike De Leon masterpieces Itim and Kisapmata, and produced classics like Himala, has a taste for daring. Think of this as Ang T-Bird at Ako squared.

BLINK AND YOU’LL MISS ME

Speaking of Kisapmata, in this spirited retelling of the Mike De Leon classic, the plot has been readjusted (some would say pulverized) to suit current trends. And so, a movie about a just-married daughter who can’t escape the familial ties that bind and (spoiler!) eventually gets shot down by her own father (he also shoots her mother and husband) becomes a movie about a mama’s boy who can’t move out of his parent’s house because he’ll miss his mom. Think Failure to Launch but with an Oedipus complex. Maricel Soriano plays the Charito Solis role. Daniel Padilla is the Charo Santos placeholder. Kathryn Bernardo is the female Jay Ilagan.

O.O.T.D. (ONLY ONE TO DATE)

In O.O.T.D., Kristel (Bernardo) is a probinsyana who finds herself studying in Manila for college and sees herself getting lost in the city’s speed and shuffle. Going from the valedictorian of her high school to practically invisible in Manila, she begins to assert herself when she puts up a fashion blog. Suddenly, the invisible probinsyana from Negros is no longer a non-entity in school — she’s a top fashion blogger! Wielding her #OOTDs like a weapon, she takes out all her school’s popular girls one by one, like Cady Heron on Instagram.

What happens when she gets to the top of the social scene’s food pyramid? She realizes that it gets lonely and that every queen needs a king.

Enter Kiko (Padilla), a bumbling mathlete and her Math 12 classmate. Also hailing from Negros, she finds herself making a true connection with him — if only her fear of eroding social status wouldn’t stop her. Soon, he teaches her that she’s most perfect when she’s herself. “My perfectly imperfect you,” he declares.

RAINY DAYS AND MONDAYS

In the grand tradition of Star Cinema vehicles named after Carpenters songs (Won’t Last A Day Without You), Rainy Days and Mondays is about a media practitioner (remember, Sarah Geronimo as a radio DJ) helping a guy win his girl back. Of course, she falls for him along the way.

Comet Caraullo (Padilla) is a newsroom upstart working at one of the country’s best news organizations (ABS-CBN.com, of course #synergy). After breaking the controversial story of a senator’s money-laundering, his boss decides to reward him by assigning him an intern to serve as his assistant, Meteora Mabini (Bernardo), a journalism major from UST. Think Up Close & Personal by way of Broadcast News.

She’s shy, inexperienced, awkward, and klutzy. He’s quick, brash, talented, and kind of an asshole. Do they end up together? You bet all your Mondays they do. After he breaks another major story with her help, he runs after her in the rain (surprise: it’s Monday) and tells her the four words she’s been waiting to hear: “Transcribe my interviews… Forever.”

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