Kenji Delos Reyes delivers a speech during the wedding reception of his college friends, Kirby and Grace. However, Kenneth, Kenji’s only son, makes out with a girl in a bathroom stall as the girl’s grandfather enters; chaos then ensues as the old man chases Kenneth to the reception hall.
Angry and disappointed with his son, Kenji talks to him only having him walk out.
Kenneth eventually goes on a drinking spree while Kenji goes on a trip to a different country for business purposes.
The next day, Kenneth learns and is surprised from the news on the television that an airplane heading for a province, had an accident. Because of this, Kenneth quickly makes his way to the airport.
While at the airport, he meets a distraught woman named Kelay, who claims that she is the daughter of Kenji Delos Reyes. Kenneth opposes to this and says that he is the only child of Kenji Delos Reyes, has a birth certificate to prove it, and knows nothing about her. Kelay, on the other hand, who continues to insist that she is the daughter of Kenji, has nothing but a picture of Kenji as a teenager together with a teenage girl who looks just like her to prove it.
Kenneth, surprised, brings Kelay to a fast food chain to eat and interrogate her. It is there that Kelay reveals that she is really not Kenji's daughter (she even jokes that since they are not siblings, Kenneth can court her). She also reveals the reason why she is in Manila and finding Kenji: to bring Kenji to her aunt, the teenage girl in the picture and his one great love, together before her aunt dies from a heart disease. When Kenneth hears this, he is outraged and leaves.
The next day, he goes to the bus station to travel to where the airplane that his father boarded crashed. He apparently almost misses the bus because he was sleeping. Luckily, Kelay wakes him up.
Kelay joins him on his quest to find his father as she is determined to give her aunt whose name is Athena, the happily ever after she deserves. Kenneth is annoyed at Kelay wanting to bring her aunt and his father together especially since Kenneth has heard of her as the woman that his father secretly loved, resulting to the death of his mother, whose name is also Athena. Kelay does not like what Kenneth feels toward her aunt and so she decides to tell him their love story to convince him that her aunt is not so bad.
The story occurs in the 90s and starts when Athena Dizon, Kelay's aunt who was seventeen at the time, receives a text through her beeper from Kenji, the well known bad boy and gangster of the school. In the text, Kenji is apologizing to someone called "Bee" and asking her if they could talk in their favourite place. Athena decides to just text him a yes even though she knows she is not the person Kenji is addressing the text to and has no idea where their favourite place is.
The story is interrupted with Kenneth asking why his father accidentally sent the text to Kelay's aunt. Kelay says that maybe his ex had changed her number and when Kenji asked from his friends her new number, they gave him Athena Dizon's by mistake, thinking she was the Athena he was referring to.
The story then continues.
When Athena visits her friends in a place for playing billiards, she sees Kenji and finds out that the billiards place is the couple's favourite place to hang out. She also learns from her friends that Kenji had just been dumped by his girlfriend. Her friends also reveal to Athena that his ex's name is also Athena and that Kenji refuses to cut his hair until they come back. From their story, Athena starts to have pity for him.
Later that night, she receives another text from him asking why she didn't come. Feeling guilty, Athena chose to not reply.
The following day, while having lunch, Athena's best friend sees Kenji on the payphone that's near them. Athena, fearing that Kenji would find out that the texts go to her instead of his ex, proposes that they leave.
But before they even get to leave, her beeper starts to ring, catching Kenji's attention. Eventually, Kenji finds out that Athena Dizon is the one who receives his texts and calls and not Athena a.k.a. Bee, his ex. He becomes very angry at Athena for pretending to be Bee. While he talks to her angrily, his ex passes by, resulting him into pushing her against a wall and sinking his head in her neck, making everyone, including Bee, think that he is kissing her, when he really is just whispering to Athena. He asks her if Bee is looking. Athena says yes. After Kenji hears this, he asks Athena to pretend to be his girlfriend so Bee may be jealous and come back to him. Surprised at his request, Athena tells him she will not do it and leaves.
Even if Athena refused his request, Kenji does not stop pursuing her. He does a lot of mean things to make Athena his fake girlfriend like tying the laces of both of her shoes together and framing her as the one who hurt one of their professors.. But when she continues to refuse, Kenji does something crazy. He goes on the roof of the building and everyone is convinced that he will end his life if Athena will still refuse to be his girlfriend. Because of fear that Kenji really will jump off the building, Athena says yes.
During their fake relationship, Kenji makes sure that him and Athena are doing romantic things while Bee is around, but when she is not they bicker and fight.
She also forms a friendship with a new student named Lucas, who ends up being Bee's new boyfriend.
During Athena's physical education class, her female classmates throw volleyballs at her and tell her that they don't even look good together because they are jealous of her "relationship" with the gangster.
Hurt physically and emotionally, Athena takes her bag and runs out of the gym. While running out, she bumps into Kenji who is surprised by the bruises she got. He eventually insists that they go to his house so he may treat her bruises.
In Kenji's house, Athena learns a lot about him. She asks him a lot of question including if loving someone hurts so bad. He tells her that she should just find out herself to which she replies that she cannot because her heart is weak.
The next day, Kenji brings Athena to the salon to have a new hairstyle. When he drives her to school, he wears the same type of glasses she wears so that the girls who hurt her can see that they look good together. He also tries to give the girls a taste of their own medicine by threatening to throw balls at them, which does not continue because Athena does not wish to hurt them.
One day, Athena does not go to school and her best friend cannot tell Kenji why leaving him confused.
It is later revealed that Athena has a heart disease where she cannot experience extreme emotions such as being too happy, angry, sad, or even falling in love.
As their fake relationship continues, Athena start to have feelings for Kenji. Because of this, she breaks the deal off only to find out that Kenji also has feelings for her and wants the relationship to be real. Not able to avoid her feelings, Athena agrees to be his real girlfriend.
The story is once again interrupted when the bus driver kicks Kelay and Kenneth out because they keep on bickering and fighting. After they are kicked out, Kenneth becomes mad at Kelay and her Aunt Athena. Kelay also becomes angry and asks him if he was even listening to the story and she once again emphasizes the fact that her aunt has done nothing wrong. He says that he has been listening and that the story makes him hate Kelay's aunt more because their love story makes him feel guilty. Kelay, feeling bad for Kenneth and realizing that bringing Kenneth to his father is more important than bringing Kenji to Athena, gets the attention of a truck which is owned by a couple. The couple lets them ride the truck.
During the ride, Kelay continues Kenji and Athena's story.
Kenji goes to the salon to have his hair finally cut, because he has moved on from Bee. He then brings Athena to different places, resulting to her going home late, which makes her parents worried. They get even more worried when Kenji brings her all the way to her province and tells her in front of Mt. Mayon that they will get married there. Athena tells her parents to not get worried because she believes that Kenji's love will make her live longer just as how her parents' love had.
The story is once again interrupted by Kenneth saying that maybe seeing Athena was why Kenji went to the province instead of going on his business trip. Kelay tells him that that cannot be because Athena is in Manila and not in the province.
Kelay and Kenneth have eventually arrived at the province. They go straight to the church where Kelay prays for Kenneth to find his father and for Bee to not haunt them when Kenji and Athena reunite. After Kelay finishes praying, Kenneth asks her what happened next and why they didn't end up together. Kelay says that her aunt never actually revealed what happened next. All her aunt told her is that the reason was bad timing.
Kenneth and Kelay, not knowing which hospital Kenji is in, goes to one hospital to another until a much older Lucas comes and tells them that he knows where he is. And so Kenneth and Kelay go in his car. Kenneth then asks Lucas, out of curiosity, if he knows the reason why Athena and his father did not end up together. Lucas says he knew why and decides to finish the story.
When Athena goes back to school, she finds Kenji absent. Later that day, Lucas comes and tells Athena to come with him because Kenji is at the hospital. Worried, Athena goes with him. She goes in the hospital room Lucas said Kenji was in. In the room, she finds Kenji and Bee, on the hospital bed. Kenji leaves the room after Athena entered. She finds out that Bee has cancer and broke up with Kenji because she did not want to break his heart. And the reason why Bee decided to have a relationship with Lucas was to move on from Kenji because she could not bear to see someone else with him. Bee then tells Athena to take care of Kenji when she is gone.
While Athena is having a conversation with Bee, Bee's mother talks to Kenji and begs him to go back to Bee because she read that happiness extends one's life and he is the only one who can make her happy. Kenji does not agree to this.
Kenji tells Athena what Bee's mother told him and said that he refused because he wants to be with her. Athena, even if she did not want to lose Kenji, told him to stay with Bee because she did not want to sacrifice someone's life just so their love could stay alive. She then leaves, not telling Kenji of her own illness.
As the story ends, Kelay cries and asks Lucas why Athena never told Kenji about her heart disorder. Kenneth is the one who answers. He tells Kelay that it must be because Athena wanted Bee to continue to live and if she told about Kenji about her illness, he would not leave her. Kelay then asks Lucas if Kenji ever found out about the heart problem. Lucas says he had only found out recently. Shorty after Lucas replied, Kelay receives a call from her family saying that Athena has just gotten a heart attack. Worried, Kelay says that she will go back to Manila. Kenneth tells Lucas to bring her to Manila and to just tell him where the hospital is. Lucas agrees, however; Kelay is hesitant. Kenneth tells her that he will be fine and that he promises that his father and her aunt will have their happily ever after.
Kenneth arrives at the hospital and finds his father unconscious. One of the nurses, give him a zip lock with a letter and a picture. Kenneth opens the letter and sees that it is addressed to him. In the letter, Kenji apologizes to his son for making him feel like he was nothing to him. He admits that he is the greatest thing that has happened to him. After he reads the letter, Kenneth looks at the picture.
It is a picture of the first time that his father has held him.
As he stares at the picture, Kenji wakes up and Kenneth is happy to see that he is fine.
Back in Manila, Kenneth surprises his father with a reunion with his old friends. He also tells Kenji that he has made a promise to a girl (Kenji mistakens the promise for a wedding proposal).
Suddenly, doors of a room are opened to reveal an older Athena on a wheelchair. Kenji is surprised to see her and the two become teary eyed.
As they sit on the bench on the terrace, Athena apologizes to Kenji for leaving him. Kenji tells her that it was nothing and that he was a blessed with a great son anyway.
Athena smiles at him then starts to feel sleepy. When she closes her eyes, she ends up dying in his arms.
In the next scene, Kelay is awoken by a phone call. The caller tells her that a plane has crashed and that Kenneth Delos Reyes is one of the passengers. Scared, Kelay quickly makes her way to the airport. In the airport, she acts distraught just as how she did when Kenneth first met her. Kenneth then appears and tells her that him being in the accident was not real and that Kenji was the one who called her.
The movie then ends with Kenneth asking Kelay if they can have a great love story like Kenji and Athena. The film cuts to black as Kenneth and Kelay are about to kiss.
Main castKathryn Bernardo as young Athena Dizon / Kelay DizonDaniel Padilla as young Kenji Delos Reyes / Kenneth Delos ReyesKhalil Ramos as young LucasSofia Andres as Abigail Athena Tizon-Delos ReyesIgi Boy Flores as young KirbyMarco Gumabao as young StephenPamu Pamorada as Sara JungAlexander Diaz as young JigsJohn Uy as young MickeyYnna Asistio as young GraceMatutina as Nana BudingArnold Reyes as GerryNiña Dolino as Athena's stepmotherJustin Gonzales as NathanKobi Vidanes as CarlJulian Estrada as JetRichard Gomez as present Kenji Delos ReyesDawn Zulueta as present Athena DizonIan Veneracion as present Lucas LazaroRio Locsin as Abigail's motherYayo Aguila as present Grace MaticWilliam Lorenzo as present MickeyAllan Paule as older Jigs BalaNiño Muhlach as present Kirby AranetaRamon Christopher as present StephenElisse Joson as one of the mean girlsPoohKaren ReyesJM De GuzmanJoem BasconJanus del PradoElisse JosonHyubs AzarconJojit LorenzoJoross GamboaKetchup EusebioRayver Cruz
Due to the film's huge success, it was screened internationally in selected countries like United States, Canada, Australia, and United Arab Emirates. The film grossed $222,000 after 3 days of showing in North America and after 10 days, the cumulative total was $570,000. The total gross, from the 2-week US and 3-week Canada screenings as well as the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore screenings, is yet to be determined.
She's Dating the Gangster received largely positive reviews both from critics and fans. According to Rotten Tomatoes, the film currently holds 70% audience rating.
Philbert Ortiz-Dy of Click the City gave a positive review in the film, stating that She's Dating the Gangster is at its best when it allows kids to be kids. Its portrayal of young, intensely romantic love is really charming, especially placed as it is in this wacky conception of its period setting. He also stated that "The narrative just can't support this pathos. The film begins to apply fantasy logic to really serious topics. [...] This kind of magical thinking just doesn’t mesh well with the real medical terms that the film just trots out."
According to Star Cinema's advertising manager Mico del Rosario, the film gathered ₱15 million (US$340,000) on its first day of showing. The film grossed ₱251 million in the Philippines per the Annual Report filed by ABS-CBN to the SEC. The worldwide box office of the film is at ₱296 million. With total gross $5,837,612 the movie hit No. 8 on the 2014 Philippinese Yearly Box Office.