Every Day Review
A Quantum Leap style YA adaptation about finding love
Every Day explores what it means to fall in love without letting what’s on the outside get in the way.Every Day is the latest teen fiction to undergo the adaptation treatment, based on the 2012 New York Times best seller written by David Levithan. Imagine waking up in a different body every 24 hours and having to live the life of that person for just one day. It sounds like something right out of a science-fiction series but this is a reality for ‘A’, a gender-less and body-less soul who moves from one body to the next every 24 hours. Trying not to interfere too much in the life of the host’s body, A goes about doing normal every day things until the stroke of midnight when it’s time to move into a different person.A had the whole body hopping thing down pat, that is until one morning A wakes up as Justin - a hip and good looking but uninterested teen who could not care less about his high-school sweetheart Rhiannon. Perhaps surprisingly, Rhiannon is actually the main character of the film who, after unknowingly spending the day with A in the body of Justin, inadvertently shows A what falling in love can feel like and how finding a connection with someone can change everything in just one day. But 24 hours later and A is in a new body and Justin has no recollection of the amazing day he spent with Rhiannon.
Not willing to let this chance at love slip away A tries to stay in Rhiannon’s life which isn’t always easy. It’s here that the film has some fun as A wakes up in a new body each morning and tries to find Rhiannon in order to get to know her better. A inhabits both male and female bodies and refuses to let gender, sexuality or race get in the way of trying to find love. Of course this whole situation is more than a little bizarre for Rhiannon who keeps finding herself making a connection with each new person A resides within. What transpires is a love story that attempts to show that there are no bounds or limits that control who you fall in love with. That age old cliche of ‘not judging a book by its cover’ springs to mind and Every Day tries to deliver this message with each different body A takes over.
Despite all the positivity that can be taken from Every Day, I can’t help feeling that director Michael Sucsy and Writer Jesse Andrews played it a bit too safe. There is a lot of good that can be taken from a film like this, and as it is clearly for younger audiences with the latest buzz words and youthful soundtrack, it’s nice to see a film that is trying to address issues surrounding gender and sexuality in a reasonably open manner. However the film would have benefited a lot more if the filmmakers fully committed to their message of showing that a person's soul has no bearing on what they look like.
A love story that attempts to show that there are no bounds or limits that control who you fall in love with.
The narrative is fairly straightforward and it doesn’t try to over explain the why’s and the how’s - which works to the film's benefit. There are a number of story threads that start up but trail off to nowhere, such as Rhiannon’s relationship with her parents which is established early on and seems to be of some significance but never leads anywhere, and similarly her sister Jolene (Debby Ryan) is under used - but Ryan does well with the little screen time she has. It was also slightly unclear as to how old Rhiannon was supposed to be which made some moments of the film seem entirely far-fetched and at times slightly uncomfortable - even within this world where a soul can swap bodies every 24 hours.
Angourie Rice delivers a solid performance as Rhiannon and is likeable throughout as she slowly comes around to understanding A’s situation and what it means for each of their futures. The directing of the various actors and actresses that play A is one of the films strongest elements as they each follow through on the traits A establishes early on. It is a shame though that some of the lives of the people A inhabits are never given much screen time or development, which I can imagine the book delves into in a lot more depth.
Every Day is a nice film that has a message to tell and for the most part it does manage to deliver it. It’s a bit cheesy in places and a bit saccharine in others, but it does have a way of sucking you into it and for the most part it’s an enjoyable watch.
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