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Every Day – Movie Review

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Every Day – Movie Review

Rating: D+ (Bad)

Trailer/Thumbnail Courtesy Elevation Pictures

The body-switching plotline has been a major source of inspiration for many a film, from Disney’s multiple versions of Freaky Friday to the recent Japanese animation phenomenon of Your Name. The premise for Every Day holds a lot of promise, as it opts to have a character jump from one body to the next. However, it can’t overcome the corniness of its Hallmark dialogue and the many questions that enter one’s mind when witnessing “A” take one vessel hostage after another. Even as it comes close to tackling some legitimate themes worth addressing, it prefers to play it safe with its central love story.

Angourie Rice has a tricky role to play, as she is required to have chemistry with many actors through the course of the film. She definitely gives it a game try, but whether through fault of direction or the screenplay, her interactions with “A” lack the believability necessary to make that spark ignite. Rhiannon also seems to buy into the whole notion of somebody waking up in a new body every day rather quickly. A cosmic being of this sort should probably inspire a bigger reaction. Rhiannon deserves to be written in a stronger way and Rice would have definitely pulled that off.

Multiple moments in Every Day feel like missed opportunities. There’s a brief scene when “A” wakes up in a blind boy’s body, which lasts about a minute. It seems like Every Day will tackle the concept of gender fluidity, but quickly changes the subject, even though there are many themes and ideas that could be explored there. The film only addresses “A”’s effect on his host body briefly, when that could have also been a promising angle. The moral questions do come up at one part, with the film actually taking the time to address whether “A” should stop his vessel from performing a harmful act. The most inspired sequence comes when Rhiannon herself is occupied by “A” and the film finally takes advantage of this idea. This portion of Every Day will probably remind most viewers of Your Name, which is hardly a negative.

While it’s understandable why the focus is primarily kept on Rhiannon and “A”’s growing relationship, everyone else in her life gets short-changed. Debby Ryan gets a few amusing zingers as Rhiannon’s sister, but their interactions are oddly limited to car rides. Every Day is yet another film that somehow gives Maria Bello a thankless role to play. The audience barely gets to know Rhiannon’s best friend and an opportunity seems to have been missed to have “A” transfer into her body. In fact, most of the bodies “A” finds itself waking up in are boys. In total, “A” also inhabits four girls and a transgender student. Every Day seems to want to tackle certain subjects, but seems afraid or unsure of how to handle them.

With a bit more risk taking and possibly more screen time, Every Day could have risen above being just a sappy romance. The actors are certainly trying to elevate the material, but any moment of inspiration ends up being short lived. With a premise that could lend itself to many themes and questions, David Levithan’s novel might have been better served being adapted into a television series. What themes it does want to present to the audience are telegraphed a million miles away and with little subtlety. The neatest thing about Every Day is when the old-school Orion Pictures logo opens the film.

 

Stefan Ellison
THE SCENE


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