Every Day looks like one of those teen romance films that you should not expect much from, but you’d be surprised.
Synopsis: Based on David Levithan’s acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Every Day tells the story of Rhiannon, 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. (Elevation Pictures)
Starring: Angourie Rice, Justice Smith and Debby Ryan
Writer: Jesse Andrews
Director: Michael Sucsy
Rating: PG (Canada)/PG-13 (United States)
Running Time: 95mins
For showtimes and more, check out Every Day on movietimes.com.
The story follows likable high schooler Rhiannon (Rice) as she navigates her life with her family and her “loving” boyfriend Justin (Smith). Her world is turned upside-down when the body-less personality of A inhabits Justin’s body for a day and gives Rhiannon the most memorable day of her life. She’s hopeful for a brighter future, but the next day Justin is back to his boring ways.
It turns out that A cannot inhabit a body for longer than 24 hours, giving the person the best experiences they possibly can, but the issue is that A has developed feelings for Rhiannon. She’s approached more and more by people of different genders, races and cultures until she learns A’s story and thus begins a complicated and unique relationship.
Right off the bat this is a great premise for a teen romance film. The style feels a lot like a mash-up of Freaky Friday meets Paper Towns where the teen relationships are believable and grounded with an interesting fantasy twist to it. This is accented further by strong, relatable themes depicting love, identity and family, however, the biggest and strongest aspect of this story is its way of tackling sexuality and gender.
Unlike most teen romances, this story is focused on the purely emotional relationship between two personalities that has little to do with their physical being. This is explored through the countless bodies that A inhabits showing a wide range of genders and sexualities that help Rhiannon in discovering her own sexuality and learning that beauty is not skin deep.
This sort of intense emotional bond created by Rhiannon and A is so gripping thanks to Angourie Rice and the various actors who portray A. While A’s persona jumps from person to person and each actor gets a crack at playing them, its Angourie Rice’s performance throughout that keeps the audience tethered to this story. It’s a familiar face to follow and her desire to be with A regardless of their physical being is a great underlying message to the younger audiences watching this film. Love is love is love is love.
However, while this film was a great, feel-good and important message bearing story, it did have a few issues. The story drags a bit after the initial introduction of A to Rhiannon while the final act feels rushed to tie everything up with little to no resolution. The family characters are terribly underused throughout the film as their relationship issues are consistently mentioned by Rhiannon, but are glossed over as an afterthought.
Overall, Every Day is an uplifting teen romance that brings an interesting premise to a well-established genre. While there are some editing issues in this slow, sometimes underdeveloped story, the relatable themes supported by some grounded, strong performances make each character seize their day. It isn’t a story for everyone, but as a teen film it becomes an instant classic.
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