Based on David Levithan’s New York Times Bestseller, Every Day tells the story of Rhiannon (Angourie Rice) who falls in love with “A”, a person who wakes up in a different body every day. Rhiannon and A end up finding their way to each other again and again, while dealing with the realities of their unusual relationship. Conveniently, this teen body-snatcher explains that they never wake up in a body too far away and the bodies A inhabits are always of a similar age, which thankfully eliminates some rather shady encounters.
Aimed at an adolescent audience, the film combines humour, fantasy and (a pleasant but sometimes cloying) sweetness to its characters and narrative. Every Day is a film that treads precariously between a teen flick and something that may appeal to even younger audiences; with its minimal conflict and quickly resolved drama, which many might find this verging on bland.
However, what director, Michael Sucsy has delivered is a film that we haven’t really seen before. Something that doesn’t quite fit into any box. Films tackling similar subject matters tend to present narratives that go down a darker route, something a little grittier. But Every Day doesn’t do that, it’s just…well, a nice film. Something that will surely divide audiences, especially those expecting hard-hitting drama with a deeper focus on more substantial issues.
Sucsy, who many are familiar with due to his critically acclaimed 2009 TV movie, Grey Gardens, hasn’t since delivered anything quite like his first feature. His 2012 film The Vow shares similarities with Every Day in its inability to delve deeper than absolutely necessary, leaving both films feeling a little unfinished.
Saying that, the film does promote and encourage discussion surrounding gender, diversity and sexual orientation. A doesn’t have a gender or a race and wakes up in both male and female bodies. Rhiannon’s love for A whether they are inhabiting a male or female body is never really questioned, which is refreshing but could also be interpreted as the film glossing over the important issues at hand.
Rice gives a likeable and sweet performance that you can’t help but love, but the characters, much like the narrative, lack the depth that would have made Every Day stand out as a daring and thought-provoking teen film with a poignant message; a message that unfortunately seems to get lost somewhere between the characters holding hands while running jubilantly through corridors and the film’s need to keep the romantic element at the forefront.
Audiences not expecting a drama-fuelled teen romp will enjoy the playful and easy-going nature of the film, which still offers insight and views on current issues, even if it is a little light. Its sincerity and the originality of the storyline is what will keep you watching. It’s unlikely to be a film that stays with you for weeks after the lights come up, but maybe that’s okay.