Following the surprise success of their first-ever onscreen partnership through the Metro Manila Film Festival 2016 top-grosser Vince & Kath & James, Julia Barretto and Joshua Garcia are looking into testing their silver screen likability with Love You to the Stars and Back.
This time, ace romantic-comedy director Antoinette Jadaone brings to life the story of a girl, Mika (played by Julia) who believes in the existence of aliens. In her journey to a place where she believes she can find them, she chances upon a boy, Caloy (played by Joshua), along the way. But the plot thickens when their individual stories are revealed. You'll also see in the trailer that a cancer-stricken character plays in the progression of the plot.
Because of this, netizens were quick to react that the film could very well be a Filipino version of the popular book-turned Hollywood flick, The Fault In Our Stars, starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort. In response to naysayers, Antoinette defended the film from people calling it a copycat.
"In-expect na namin iyong ganoong comments kasi may cancer involved," Antoinette said. "Pero aside from that, Mika and Caloy's story is very different from the story of the characters in The Fault in Our Stars or A Walk to Remember. Nagkataon lang na may cancer pero every character has a different journey."
Sticking to the inclusion of a cancer-stricken character in the plot as an integral part of the narrative, the That Thing Called Tadhana director also noted. "Kung walang cancer si Caloy, sobrang ibang ibang pelikula siya. Hindi ko maitutuloy ang kuwentong gusto kong ikuwento. Sa buong pelikula, sure ako na hindi siya The Fault in Our Stars."
Antoinette, meanwhile, expressed content and admiration for her stars in the creation of the upcoming love flick. As Mika and Caloy, Julia and Joshua have grown more mature in their craft while showing the right sensitivity and sincerity to portray their characters.
"May pinanggagalingan sa puso ang pag-arte nila so lumalabas sa screen. Kapag pinapanood mo iyong take, alam mong pumasok talaga sila sa character ni Mika at Caloy," she shared.
Love You to the Stars and Back opens in cinemas on August 30.