So after braving Twilight: Breaking Dawn, the next flick my girlfriend asked me to see with her was Won't Last a Day Without You, the second Sarah Geronimo and Gerald Anderson vehicle after Catch Me, I’m in Love (which I also went to see earlier this year – can you say wha-pah?). I wasn’t as reluctant as I was with Breaking Dawn because at least Ms. Geronimo is far easier on the eyes than Stewart.
Still, I never relish going to see Tagalog films. If you’ve never seen one, then you really can’t understand. People rant about how cliché Hollywood has become, how unapologetically derivative films are nowadays, but you don’t know how bad it can get until you’ve experienced the standard Pinoy movie. About the only cinema that can top us with cheesiness is India’s Bollywood, and at least they occasionally come out with a movie that just awesomes your socks right off (i.e. Endhiran). It’s been awhile since I’ve had my socks awesomed off by a Pinoy movie (I’m not going to count RPG Metanoia because it’s not a live action film).
Still, I was willing to give local cinema another chance.
Sorry, no sale.
Won't Last a Day Without You suffers from all the same issues that mainstream Pinoy cinema has always been bogged down by. First off, you have to start with why this film was made. It wasn’t because some filmmaker had a great idea and wanted to commit this idea to celluloid. It wasn’t because some writer got a great idea and some filmmaker wanted to translate that for the screen. It wasn’t because there was a message that the filmmaker wanted to get across, to share with the audience. It was made because the studio wanted a star vehicle for their “talents.”
It doesn’t matter that Sarah and Gerald don’t have the same chemistry that Sarah had with John Lloyd Cruz in A Very Special Love or You Changed My Life (yes, I’ve watched both). It doesn’t matter that the plot here isn’t all that realistic. It doesn’t matter that Anderson’s character is basically a huge douche bag for most of the film. They threw it together anyway and marketed it as a romance.
And get this: No kissing.
No really. I just learned this from my girlfriend and it blew my mind. Apparently, young studio stars under contract like Sarah Geronimo don’t kiss in any of their movies. I’d never noticed it until it was pointed out to me. Geronimo doesn’t kiss Anderson once in the entire film!
My girlfriend’s stand is that the film isn’t marketing adult love or sex; it’s marketing the kilig factor to tweeners, so it’s okay that they stop just short of the payoff. You ask me it’s a pretty shitty way to go about your business. The movie kiss is just as important a trope as the movie shoot-at-a-car-and-it-will-explode trope. If you’re going to make a film about love, you damned well better do it properly.
And this isn’t done properly. As I said, Anderson’s character starts out the movie being a complete dick to Geronimo’s character and goes around macking on other girls while lying to his own girlfriend. When said girlfriend breaks up with him on DJ Geronimo’s advice, he storms the radio station’s offices to get some payback, acting hurt. Me? I’m just hoping someone will eventually kick him in the nuts.
This nut-kicking doesn’t happen. Instead, he threatens to sue the radio station. In order to stop that from happening, Geronimo offers to help him get back together with his girlfriend. What follows is a pretty silly, and sadly awkward montage of attempts to get the ex talking. During this time, Sarah’s charms work their magic on Mr. Douche Bag and all of a sudden, he’s not looking at other girls. He’s an attentive, sensitive, loving boyfriend, ready to get back together with Ms. Ex.
Sadly, now he’s in love with DJ Geronimo.
You should be able to figure out the rest for yourself.
I hate how there doesn’t really seem to be a sympathetic character here except for Geronimo, and she’s not really all that well developed. She plays a character that’s lost her man to another woman, but you never really get a sense of the hurt that she’s feeling. A scene like Toni Gonzaga’s breakdown in My Amnesia Girl would have gone a long way toward that, but all we really get is a scene where she meets her ex boyfriend in a mall with her ex-best friend, the now fiancé. All she does is pout a bit.
There were two things I enjoyed about the movie, though. One was Joey De Leon playing George’s dad (Geronimo’s name is George – don’t ask) who is an aging rock star, complete with T-shirts, hair, and eye shadow. He hams it up nicely and steals most of the scenes he’s in.
The second thing is the ending. I’m going to SPOIL IT FOR YOU. The rich bitch of an ex finds out that Mr. Douche Bag now has a thing for DJ Geronimo and calls into her show (she gets her yaya to do it for her – how’s that for class?). She proceeds to nail the plucky young heroine to the wall. Mr. Douche Bag comes a-running and meets her coming out of the building in tears. They end up shouting in out on the street in classic fashion.
Meanwhile, back at the station, DJ Geronimo’s co-host has asked her huge fan base, all those she’s been giving shitty advice to for the past few months, to call in and give her some shitty advice in return. Back outside, someone recognizes Mr. Douche Bag’s name and realizes that the commotion is what they’ve been listening to on the radio. They turn it up just in time for DJ Geronimo to hear the best-of hits, including her dad’s call telling her to go for it.
This is where the non-kiss finally happens.
Fuck you, Star Cinema.