Now, that’s not an entirely good note: An ‘Every Day’ film review

3.76 over 5 stars.

“Every Day” is a film that starts on as a sugar-coated romantic flick, and caps itself with a bittersweet conclusion. It dares to explore important themes, yet fails in its execution. The plot seems ambitious – it pretends to be complex, but the storytelling is actually superficial. Still, there are many artfully created cheesy sequences, and a bit of light-hearted humor. The diverse cast also did amazing performances in this movie. However, the film lacks its true essence, and this is not a good way to go.

The Story

3.13 over 5 stars.

Adapted from a book of the same name by David Levithan, “Every Day” tells the story of A, a nomad spirit who wakes up in a different body every single day. Because of this premise, A journeys through each day living the life of his/her host whilst trying his/her best not to mess up. One day though, he wakes up as Justin (Justice Smith), boyfriend of Rhiannon (Angourie Rice). Justin usually takes his girlfriend for granted, but this day was different. He takes her on a date at the beach, which Rhiannon admits to be the best day she ever had with him. Little did she know that Justin was not actually Justin; and the next day, she faces reality when he returns to his old, neglectful self.

Something sparked inside A though which makes him/her want to see Rhiannon again. Hence, every waking morning in a different body, A tries his/her best to get closer with Rhiannon. Soon, A reveals the truth to her, who, of course, does not believe him/her at first. However, after talking with Nathan (Lucas Jade Zumann), one of A’s previous hosts who believes that he was possessed by Satan, Rhiannon slowly realizes that this is not some big prank. The following day, she meets A as Vic (Ian Alexander), a transgender student, at school. A asks her to give him/her a chance. It is not the outside that counts after all, but the inside.

Rhiannon does give A what he/she is asking for. They go on dates, and Rhiannon falls in love with A. For a fleeting moment, they seem to be unmindful of the complications of their relationship. But soon enough, when A inhabits the body of Alexander (Owen Teague), one of Rhiannon’s friends, the brutal what-ifs hit them hard. Together, they try to answer this pressing question: is there a future waiting for a normal, teenage girl, and a drifting consciousness?

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Rhiannon spends the night with A as Alexander, both choosing to make the last three hours of the day worthwhile. Photo from the Internet Movie Database.

The film begins as your typical young adult romance. The audience gets to see Rhiannon and A go on unique excursions each day, which would leave a smile on every one’s hearts. However, this becomes the big problem of the movie – the story has become shallow. Instead of focusing on its themes, the movie concentrates the plot into the fleeting teenage love between our protagonists.

There were many potential subplots and -themes, which would have enriched the story, but the filmmakers seem to have opted to not delve into them any further. The results are hanging branches from the main storyline that are left suspended in midair. There’s this conflict within Rhiannon’s imperfect family, and then there’s another one with a suicidal girl who becomes A’s host. It would have been better if these premises were explored more, but they weren’t. Hence, I had lots of “So that’s it?” in my mind all throughout the movie.

“Every Day” is supposed to talk about inner beauty, about looking beyond the physical. However, the film somehow contradicts itself at certain points. Although Rhiannon does fall in love with A as him/herself, it is obvious that A’s outside appearance somehow counts as well. She clearly admits this herself in one of her dates with A when he took the body of a good-looking, young man.

The movie’s ending feels weak, for me. It’s just another “That’s it?” Although it did tug at my heartstrings, I just did not like it. Nuh-uh.

The Sights and Sounds

4.00 and 3.92 over 5 stars, respectively.

Truth be told, each of Rhiannon and A’s dates were skillfully shot and presented on the big screen. I loved seeing all of their intimate and happy moments, especially when A becomes Alexander. The happiness brought about by their love for each other transcends to the audience, and it’s just wonderful.

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As “This is the Day” blasts from the speakers, A as Nathan urges Rhiannon to dance with him. Photo from the Internet Movie Database.

I also like how Rhiannon and A were able to connect with each other through the 80’s song “This is the Day”. It somehow became the bridge that linked their hearts together. Towards the end, both of them can be seen dancing to its tune, which was actually nostalgic of their first out-of-town trip, and their meeting when A was Nathan.

The Starrers

4.00 over 5 stars.

What’s amazing about this film is that a lot of people, from varying walks of life, are cast as a single character, A, despite having their own separate roles to fulfill. Even if they all had differing personalities, they were all able to share A’s unique one. I must admit that Rhiannon is right in saying that she knows someone’s A just because of the way A looks at her. All the actors who played A’s hosts, especially Justice Smith, Jacob Batalon, Sean Jones and Owen Teague, shared A’s twinkling eyes whenever he sees his love.

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Find yourself someone who sees you the way James (Jacob Batalon) sees Rhiannon (Angourie Rice). Photo from the Internet Movie Database.

Of course, Angourie Rice did well as Rhiannon in this film. She was pleasing to watch, and I liked how she was able to interact with A’s various personas. Truly, she has successfully made the audience believe that she was indeed in love with a single entity who is A.

Film Score Board_Every Day

I sat on the theatre feeling head over heels over Rhiannon and A’s romantic excursions, and left the cinema with a tight feeling in my chest. First, because of that heartrending finale to the story. Second, because of the film’s shallow plot. There were lots of opportunities for improvement in “Every Day”, and I just hoped that the filmmakers chose to take them all. Sadly though, we are left with a movie that is constructed in such a way that it becomes marketable to young couples who are out and about for a movie date. In doing so, the movie sacrifices what is essential – a rich storyline that effectively conveys its themes.

“Every Day” tried to sell itself with cinematic art instead of a compelling plot, and I did not like this at all. Shame that it reduced the book to this cheesy flick. I would probably head to the nearest bookstore, and find myself a copy of David Levithan’s novel so I can fully understand and appreciate this supposed-to-be-wondrous story.

This film is supposed to make marks and leave traces. Well, it did, but most of them weren’t that good.

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