Everyday I Love You

Star Cinema’s romantic-drama Everyday I Love You is directed by Mae Cruz-Alviar and is topbilled by Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil, collectively known as LizQuen, arguably the most good-looking loveteam in Philippine showbusiness today.

Poster of Star Cinema's Everyday I Love You. Photo from starcinema.abs-cbn.com.

Poster of Star Cinema’s Everyday I Love You. Photo from starcinema.abs-cbn.com.

Everyday I Love You follows the lives of Audrey (Liza Soberano) and Ethan (Enrique Gil), which cannot be more opposite than the North and South poles of a magnet. Audrey is what most Manileños think of typical provincial lasses, laidback, sweet and simple. In comparison, Ethan is too forward, driven and competitive as a TV producer who treats his job like it was his only salvation.

Their paths cross on a pretty deserted road in Silay, Negros Occidental, and with thousands of sugarcane plants in the background, their saccharine-coated story bloom. This plot is too simplistic even for Star Cinema standards, so a third-wheel in Tristan (Gerald Anderson), Audrey’s first love, is thrown in. To make matters more less complicated, Tristan has been in coma for 100+ days at the time the film starts. I just have to add that flashbacks of Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman’s While You Were Sleeping came to mind for a second there. Audrey has to choose between the man of her dreams and the man that makes her dreams come true everyday. While it is seemingly easy to say which man will win her heart, in real life and even in this almost medically-fantastic story, it is not that one-dimensional.

Everyday I Love You, like Soberano and Gil’s first movie, Just the Way You Are, does not have overdose kilig (giddy) moments. What it has are slow gentle tugs at the heartstrings of the audience that reach their crescendo in that pivotal phone call conversation between Audrey and Ethan. By the time it happens, the audience are too deeply invested in their affairs so much so that their hearts, together with Audrey’s and Ethan’s, beat as one. While Audrey and Ethan talked, silence reigned inside the cinema, with everybody hanging on to every word they utter, like much-needed oxygen pulsing through the veins. Luckily, unlike Just the Way You Are, Everyday I Love You focuses on the interactions of the leads, not too much on their families or their excess baggage. This is a definite advantage because Soberano and Gil generate undeniable chemistry more than enough to produce spontaneous fits of “giggles and gushing from the audience” (from my review of Just the Way You Are). Another plus, Everyday I Love You has Soberano at her most beauteous state, and I will forget that jarring scene where she wears a wig not befitting her goddess-like appearance.

Speaking of Soberano, Everyday I Love You is her movie, more than Gil’s. Soberano IS Audrey. Among the stars in Star Cinema’s stable, I cannot think of anyone else who could have done this part better than her. She has that rare potent mixture of innocence and strength in all of her scenes. To illustrate, she is believable as the sweet and caring girlfriend. She is not self-conscious as the crazy and adventurous Silay Scooter Girl who rolls around in mud or eats piaya while driving the scooter in floral dresses. And to top it all off, her nuances as Audrey seem genuine and unaffected: the way she lowers her eyes when she is unsure of herself, the way she opens her mouth halfway while she turns and turns around, and the way she looks at the screen while she delivers her lines, like she is talking to each of us, as if we are part of her world. Wow! And she is only 17 years old!

Gil and his pink lips are as pretty as they were in Just the Way You Are. I wrote before that he is perfect as the ingleserong (English-speaking) leading man, a role reserved for Gerald Anderson in the past. How ironic is this that Gil and Anderson are in the same movie, and Gil is playing the role that was Anderson’s bread and butter while the latter was teamed up with Kim Chiu? Anyway, Gil can dish out kilig or hugot lines like he is a direct descendant of Don Juan, but more importantly, he can also cry like every teardrop comes from his heart.

Negros Occidental is a gorgeous backdrop for this movie. It is refreshing to watch a movie that was not shot in Baguio or in Tagaytay. Props to the production team for featuring The Ruins, old Spanish houses and sugarcane plantation in Negros Occidental.

As an Ilonggo speaker, listening to the actors use Ilonggo is like listening to a symphony of sweet music. Although some actors speak better than others, just hearing the sing-song intonation and very Ilonggo phrases like “palangga” (love), “kanamit gid ya” (tastes delicious) was more than enough.

Everyday I Love You is a fitting second movie for LizQuen. It seems that Star Cinema earmarked a higher budget for this film than what they had for Just the Way You Are. The location and the story (despite its minor inconsistencies) are a match to the physical appearance and acting abilities of Soberano and Gil. With this film, LizQuen has carved its own mark as the tandem that tackles films that do not dwell in kilig moments, rather it uses kilig moments to emphasize more profound subjects.

Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil in Star Cinema's Everyday I Love You. Photo from starcinema.abs-cbn.com.

Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil in Star Cinema’s Everyday I Love You. Photo from starcinema.abs-cbn.com.

For more LizQuen entries, please read Just The Way You Are, My Ex and Whys and My Ex and Whys – Hugot Edition.

Stray Observations:

  1. How pretty are the moms of Audrey and Ethan? I actually wished that a certain actress would appear so her and the moms could have a reunion as Regal Babies.
  1. The lolas (grandmothers) are so much fun! Marissa Delgado and Liza Lorena are great sounding boards for Soberano and Gil, respectively.
  1. If I were Audrey’s age, I would gladly swap closets with her. How gorgeous are her clothes and shoes?
  1. I like the running theme of “it has been X days” followed by sweet nothings.
  1. I miss chicken inasal!!!

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