Written by Jesse Andrews, directed by Charlie Kaufman and adapted from a novel by David Levithan, Every Day is teen movie meets sci-fi – a feel-good flick with a mind-bending twist: what if an object of love were disembodied, consisting only of a spirit drifting from one physical being to the next?
As absurd as the concept of being in a different body each day may be, the idea is very philosophical and asks some profound questions: what is an individual? who are we? are we our inner selves, our minds, corporeal entities or a combination thereof? The film proposes that we cherish another person for their soul and that the human torso is just a shell; that gender and physical appearance are irrelevant – perhaps a depiction of genuine love versus pseudo-amour/infatuation.
16-year-old Rhiannon (Angourie Rice) meets and falls for a sweet, restless, genderless spirit called A, who reincarnates every morning, each time borrowing another teenager’s body – beginning with that of the heroine’s egotistical boyfriend Nathan (Justin Smith), who becomes kind, attentive and charming. Not knowing where A will be next, the warm-hearted, guileless Rhiannon finds him/her in many forms, including a portly kid called James (Jacob Batalon), transgender high-schooler Vic (Ian Alexander), a confused Asian American girl named Kelsea (Nicole Law) and African American George (Sean Jones) – who is homeschooled.
Groundhog Day and Freaky Friday come to mind in terms of premise, but although this piece contains intriguing ideas, it attempts to fit them within the confines of the classic Hollywood teenage romance genre, inhibiting a potentially more fascinating, enlightening story – as this theme surely could have been expanded. The execution of the feature is fairly flawless in the manner expected from a Tinseltown production: the cinematography is suitably descriptive of a high-school romance narrative. But despite its thought-provoking and moving thesis – and its significant foray into fantasy and mind-blowing possibility – the work essentially remains somewhat confined within the limits of the formulaic.
In general, the acting is good and the ensemble cohesive, but Rice’s charisma and inspiring performance are particularly notable.
The film’s romantic exploration of discorporate identity and connection is poignant, captivating and relevant. A sweet tale of adolescence with a refreshingly new and positive approach, Every Day is a fun, entertaining, charming piece of cinema with an uplifting message about the true meaning of love.
Every Day is released nationwide on 20th April 2018.
Watch the trailer for Every Day here: