In truth, the romantic-comedy Won’t Last a Day Without You deals with one of the toughest moments in one’s life. That heart-sickening phase when one has to summon the courage to accept that a relationship is over and to face every minute of the hours in a day— battling with all your heart and mind not to relive the last scenes of The Break-up or to think about why you had to let go.
That is the challenge of moving on.
And it takes strength to do so.
The constant practice of enduring the pain hardens the vulnerable heart that eventually leads one to learn his/her lessons. Unless someone else comes along, the calloused survivor of heartbreak becomes resentful to all the romantic love going on around the world. Such a feeling of resentment tinged with anger is commonly referred to as bitterness.
Raz dela Torre’s film could have oh-so-melodramatically tackled the aforementioned heartbreak crisis as this writer has put it. Instead, it does a favor to those who are in the process of healing by taking bitterness as a genuine emotion that only the failure of love can produce, and creating a feel-good, fresh, and hopeful narrative out of it.
Won’t Last a Day Without You presents bitterness in the character of George Apostol (Sarah Geronimo) a.k.a. DJ Heidee (Heidee na iibig!), an advice-giving disc jockey who handles the Heartbreak Hotline of a local radio station. George is the "Dyosa ng mga Sawi" (goddess of the heartbroken) whose personal experience of being left by her former boyfriend for another girl, has turned her into a pessimist about true love. Her top-rating program is fueled by the mantra "’Di bale nang bitter if bitter is better!" Her general advice to the lovesick? "Bawal ma-in love—nakakamatay!"
While George’s character enjoys the popularity of her segment, the audience is privy to the fact that she has yet to mend her broken heart. Giving counsel and hearing out all her callers’ relationship problems only aggravate her emotional state, not allowing her to break free from the heartache.
At the far end of the spectrum is Andrew Escalona (Gerald Anderson) the happy-go-lucky, classic Casanova with a knack for flirting with women and eventually breaking their hearts.
Melissa (Megan Young) is Andrew’s girlfriend who catches him flirting with another woman.
Prodded by her personal chauffeur who is an avid listener of DJ Heidee, Melissa heeds the advice of DJ Heidee to break up with Andrew. "Love comes with pain. Dapat worth it ang pain!" George tells Melissa.
Hearing his name being broadcast and his girlfriend breaking up with him on air, Andrew rushes to the radio station. He finds George and attempts to press charges against her for ruining his reputation on national radio. He blackmails George that if she does not help in getting back his girlfriend, he will continue to file a complaint. George concedes to Andrew’s condition.
Thus begins the two’s unlikely friendship, initially highlighted by their constant bickering, mocking, and poking fun at each other’s differences.
George eventually realizes that her bitterness was not altogether a good thing to hold on to. As advised by her legendary rock star father, Pablo Apostol (the ever witty Joey de Leon), "We all deserve a second chance."
The time spent with each other allows the two to understand and discover each other’s inner goodness and flaws. Andrew, most especially, sees George’s character in all its beauty, finally enabling him to understand how a woman hurts. On the one hand, George falls in love with the kind of Andrew who changes under her "tutelage." At work, DJ Heidee suddenly becomes optimistic about love; from being the cynical man-hater, she tells her female callers, "Ang mga lalaking yan, may puso din naman!"
The conflict is inevitable as the two fall head over heels. Andrew realizes that George is the right girl for him. Meanwhile, the cautious George struggles to fight off her feelings for Andrew because she knows he belongs to someone else.
In its final scenes, Won’t Last a Day Without You maintains the audience’s elation and thrill as Andrew decides to man up and choose between George and Melissa.
As a whole, the second Sarah-Gerald team up is even better than their previous film. Both the actors have seemingly grown comfortable around each other. Backed by an entertaining, fresh, creative, and hilarious screenplay, Sarah establishes her knack for drama and comedy, romantic comedies prove to be her forte; meanwhile Gerald confirms that being one of today’s promising dramatic actors does not hold him back from delivering a comedic role.
Another strength of the film is its good supporting cast: Joey de Leon gets to showcase his clever antics and wordplay while John "Sweet" Lapus adds another variety of humor to the liveliness of the screenplay that knows no drag or lulls.
Dela Torre’s film, while it may be insanely cliché at some points, especially in its concluding scene, manages to present the ugly, painful truth about getting over one’s heartache and overcoming the lingering anger that comes with it.
It can, for some reason or another, bring back one bitter soul’s faith in love, or at least inpire one to love again.