Cast: Angourie Rice, Justice Smith, Jeni Ross, Lucas Jade Zumann
Director: Michael Sucsy
Synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes: Based on David Levithan’s acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Every Day tells the story of Rhiannon (Angourie Rice), a 16-year old girl who falls in love with a mysterious soul named “A” who inhabits a different body every day. Feeling an unmatched connection, Rhiannon and A work each day to find each other, not knowing what or who the next day will bring. The more the two fall in love, the more the realities of loving someone who is a different person every 24 hours takes a toll, leaving Rhiannon and A to face the hardest decision either has ever had to make.
When I first saw the trailer for Every Day, I was incredibly intrigued by the concept. Waking up as a different person everyday and living their life for 24 hours and trying to go about their day as normal before switching to the next person is a pretty unique concept and one that gave me a sense of cautious optimism. I was concerned that since this is a Young Adult film it would be ruined by either poor acting or writing. While the acting and writing were not stellar, it had enough of an impact to take away from an otherwise creative idea.
The story follows around a traveling spirit known as, “A” (played by a plethora of actors including Rice, Smith, Ross, and Zumann), as they spend one day in the body of a stranger. They must navigate through the nuances of each person’s life and how not to mess up anything long-term for them. One of the things that really drags the film down are the performances of the teenaged actors. I am not entirely convinced of some of the emotions they portray and at other times I am not sure who to root for due to some questionable moral choices. However, I do believe some of the blame can be shifted over to the writers for not giving these actors good material to work with. In order to convey emotion properly, you need dialogue that feels like a normal person would say it. Maybe this is the way teenagers speak nowadays, but I thought many of the lines were clunky and awkward. None of these lines are particularly terrible, but it can be distracting at times when these poorly written lines are delivered.
Moving on to the real highlight of the film; the concept. With a concept such as this, I was worried that since this film is aimed at teenagers that it would not cover the difficult subjects. I was pleased to see that this film pulled no punches in its concept. I thought that since the preview only showed young attractive people, that those people would be the focus of the film. However, when they showed A taking over the body of a blind kid or kid that needs a lung transplant, they showed that A has to take on the problems of every type of person instead of just the popular type. On top of this, the film answered all of my questions about the relationship between Rhiannon (Rice) and A. They discuss the difficulties of a long-term relationship going into adulthood and addressed things that I had been thinking of during the viewing. It took a very mature twist towards and showed younger viewers that sometimes things are harder than we anticipate them being and we need to deal with them. If more Young Adult films took this approach, then I do not believe they would have the mixed reception that they usually get.
Overall, Every Day suffers from uninspired performances and a boring script, but otherwise is a concept I was excited to learn more about. This is a film that had to take some risks based on its source material and some of those risks paid off while others did not. With most of these Young Adult films, what you see is what you get, but this one had the makings of something more. While I did not expect an Academy Award winning script or performances, but something a little bit better would have made this film much more memorable.
Overall Score: 6/10