4 Life Lessons I Learned From ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’ Film
Yesterday, I went out with my family and we saw this new local movie Can’t Help Falling In Love starring Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla. I appreciated the movie because I’m a huge fan of Daniel Padilla both as an actor and as an individual, and I knew the plot would be quirky, which is something I could use right now.
This is not a movie review, but more of a compilation of my observations of the movie and the lessons I learned while watching. I’m just going to do this on a whim to lay my cards on the table and because I don’t really want to put a lot of thought into it. I just want to pour out my thoughts.. as my blog’s purpose should be.
Disclaimer: Spoilers ahead. Read at your own risk.
We can get stuck in a toxic relationship and not even be aware of it.
In Gab’s (Kathryn) case, she found herself stuck in this crappy situation when her boyfriend of six years (Jason played by Matteo Guidicelli), proposed to her. On the day of the pamamanhikan, it was then that she only received her marriage contract from the mayor’s office. Apparently, on the day that she got drunk with her girlfriends a year ago, she got married to Dos (Daniel) supposedly through a pretend wedding. They were drunk AF and you know what alcohol can do. So there.
Back to Gab and Jason’s relationship. It was apparent that Gab wasn’t ready for marriage yet. She was very hesitant to say yes and she was only pressured by both parties’ families. That said, we often get stuck in a toxic relationship and not even be aware of it. We often mask inconveniences as “love” yet that’s not how love should work. Yes, we shouldn’t change someone to love us. But likewise, we shouldn’t change ourselves to be loved or to love. Gab was in complete denial that she was in a toxic relationship and it was just a dead end for her, but she refused to let go because they’ve been at it for the long haul already.
This is something that personally irks me. While I know that not everyone can endure long years in a relationship, length shouldn’t really be a deciding factor for couples to stay with each other (cases may vary). What if you’ve been together for 7 years already if the past 5 years have been all about the other person? What is 15 years of marriage if it has been full of nothing but infidelity and dishonesty? You get what I’m saying? Some people still choose to stick around even if it’s no longer healthy for them. This shouldn’t be the case of relationships. While problems and hurdles exist, couples shouldn’t really suffer so much to prove that they love each other. I mean, where is the love in it if at all?
Not all parents know their children well if at all.
Gab’s mom (played by Cherry Pie Picache) was one the people that really pushed Gab to get married to Jason. They have been together for six years already and everything that Gab achieved, she “owes” to Jason because of his support (or more like approval). Gab’s mom was blinded by the “happy vibes” that most relationships highlight. In this case, she only viewed Jason’s proposal as a progress in the couple’s relationship. It’s one step higher up on the ladder, but not necessarily an achievement as per Gab’s perspective.
Gab never told her mom about her marriage problem until at the latter part of the movie, and that’s when her mom started blaming her for getting married to a man she barely knows. In order to annul their marriage, Gab even went as far as going to Cebu to find the only person still alive that witnessed their wedding. While preparing for the wedding, Gab’s decisions would always be based on her mom’s and Jason’s approvals. At the wedding fair, Dos even told her she shouldn’t base her decisions on what her relatives, her mom or Jason wants. Since the proposal, Gab’s mom felt nothing but sheer happiness and excitement for the would-be spouses. Although she asked if Gab was happy, Gab couldn’t really say she wasn’t because she didn’t want to disappoint her. All her mom saw was the happy facade masking all Jason and Gab’s relationship problems.
This makes it wrong in some ways. We often filter what we share with our parents for fear of letting them down. In return, they just take whatever they can get. Meanwhile, they often only give us the thumbs up when they approve of our choices. Not all parents really let us choose what we want in life. They either let us be (a.k.a. they don’t care) or they let us do what we want as long as it fits their liking. As a family, our parents should be our number one supporters. But it’s ironic how we filter our thoughts and stories with people who should know us best. Instead, we become more open to strangers or outsiders. This is where the white lies start to build. At the end of the day, our parents don’t really know us. They don’t know what genuinely makes us happy or if we’re happy in our current life situation.
Love should never be synonymous with “control”.
If you look at it closely, Gab and Jason’s relationship was built on stability and sureness. Everything was planned according to Jason’s perspective. He’ll continue to study Law, they’ll get married, and then they’ll move to New York to stay there for good. Despite Gab’s nearness to promotion, Jason insisted that Gab will find an equally good job in New York anyway since she was that good at what she does.
At the latter part of the film, Gab finally spilled her bottled up emotions on Jason’s disappointments due to her decisions. Jason got hurt at Gab’s accusation that she Jason kept controlling her life when he actually allowed her to choose her career, that he allowed her to do this and that and everything else. Gab “clapped back” that if she was really free to do whatever she wanted, why did she have to ask for Jason’s approval on everything all the time?
Toxic relationships are difficult to detect when we’re in complete denial. Emotional abuse can be easily disguised as “love” if we choose to see it that way. In Gab’s case, she was blinded by all the stability and years Jason “gifted” her. If not for him, she wouldn’t be where she is now, and all that jazz. We often have this “utang na loob” mentality which stops us from leaving toxic relationships. We easily sweep a person’s wrongdoings under the rug because we owe him/her too much. In reality, we shouldn’t be forced to live according to someone else’s happiness. We shouldn’t be compelled to change our lifestyle to fit into another’s. We often need someone to give us the heads up that, “Hey, this is not right. You shouldn’t force yourself to be in this because you’re already in it. You can say no. You can walk away.” In this film, Dos played that part for Gab.
Life is short.
It really is. We’ve heard it millions of times already, yet it seems like we’re still waiting for drastic things to happen before we realize the magnitude of that simple statement. At the latter part of the film, it was revealed that Dos was diagnosed with cerebral aneurysm, a cerebrovascular disorder in which weakness in the wall of a cerebral artery or vein causes a localized dilation or ballooning of the blood vessel (wikipedia). This is the main reason he kept saying that he couldn’t give Gab the future she wanted – because, with him, there’s no future at all. His brain could rupture any time, which could put him to comma or, worse, death. Denying himself of the surgery he needed, he’s basically digging his own grave.
At 23, he launched his own travel business to follow his dreams because why not? He had a short life to live (according to his standard) and he just wanted to make the most of it. He even pounded in his brain that he will never marry in his lifetime until his actual marriage with Gab. As one famous quote points out, “The trouble is, you think you have time.” While most of us plan our future ahead, we can’t really say when it’ll be our last day. Dos just makes the most of his life. Every day that he wakes up, he shouts a simple thank you to God for letting him live one more day, yet most of us live life complaining that it’s too much for us already.
The thing is, we don’t have time. We no longer have that luxury. We might as well live our lives the way we want it because, hey, no one will really say, “Well, you’re gone now, but thanks for living your life the way I wanted you to!” All of us wants to be happy, but only a few us allow ourselves to be. (The movie inspired me so much that I wanted to write my thoughts on it before it’s too late. You get what I’m saying?)
- Love takes time.. and then it makes time.
- Relationships require trust to work.
- Some people don’t love their partners; they only love themselves. More so, they’re in love with the thought of controlling their partners.
- Love is scariest when it’s real.
I didn’t think I would spill a lot of spoilers here, but it’s actually hard to point out lessons without mentioning some specific scenarios. Anyway, I think the disclaimer is enough to warn you. I may have specified some scenes, but it’s still better to watch the film to get a better grasp of the story.
For those of you that have already seen the film, do you agree with the lessons I learned? Do you have the same or different opinions? Share your thoughts below.