[Screen It]

"EVERY DAY"
(2018) (Angourie Rice, Justice Smith) (PG-13)


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QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A high school student falls for a mysterious soul who wakes up in the body of a different person each day.
PLOT:
Rhiannon (ANGOURIE RICE) is an ordinary high school student who lives with her parents, Lindsey (MARIA BELLO) and Nick (MICHAEL CRAM), and older sister, Jolene (DEBBY RYAN). She has a boyfriend in Justin (JUSTICE SMITH), but one day he isn't quite himself, treating her to a day skipping school, having fun, and generally being uncharacteristically romantic with her. The next day he has no memory of any of that and that's because, unbeknownst to either of them, he was inhabited by a soul known only as "A" who wakes up each morning in the body of a different person, with no control over who that is, guy or girl, outside of it being someone his/her own age.

After Rhiannon meets Nathan (LUCAS JADE ZUMANN) at a party and he acts in ways similar to how Justin earlier did, she ends up a bit perplexed, especially with that happening on subsequent days with different people. "A" eventually lets on what's happening, and while it takes a while for her to believe that story, she does. And in doing so, she ends up falling for "A" despite never knowing who he/she will show up as each day. But when he/she does so in one of her classmates, Alexander (OWEN TEAGUE), the two believe that teen might be the right permanent fit for them and their unusual romantic relationship.

OUR TAKE: 4 out of 10
Our reviewing policy for films that aren't shown in advance to critics in our or most other markets is that we'll only provide a paragraph or two about the film's artistic merits or, more accurately, lack thereof. After all, life is too short to spend any more effort than that on a movie that even the releasing studio knows isn't any good (which is why they hid it from most reviewers before its release).

When I first heard the premise of "Every Day" -- where a teenage soul known only as "A" unintentionally inhabits a different person each day but ends up falling for just one teenage girl -- the thing that immediately sprang to mind was this was a human version of "A Dog's Purpose" (where a dog's soul ends up reincarnated in the bodies of various pooches and eventually gets back to his original owner).

But after seeing the flick -- based on the 2012 young adult romance/fantasy novel of the same name by David Levithan -- the more appropriate cinematic comparison would be that it's a short attention span teenage version of "Heaven Can Wait." Sure, there are differences aplenty, but in general it's the same sort of romantic tale, and in the end, you know full well that "A" is eventually going to have to abandon whatever latest host body he/she/it is in and allow a more natural romance to develop for young Rhiannon (Angourie Rice).

While the 1978 film had a devastating if hopeful conclusion to the romance between Warren Beatty's Joe Pendleton and Julie Christie's Betty Logan, the conclusion here -- and everything leading up to it -- left me emotionally distant. I'm guessing teenage girls (especially younger ones) might react differently, but this is nothing more than a mediocre to subpar examination of the superficiality of looks when it comes to true love.

There's potential aplenty in this adaptation by screenwriter Jesse Andrews and director Michael Sucsy but not enough expert execution or substantial depth (or real, tangible romance beyond the gimmicky premise, for that matter) to make this play above and beyond its target demographic. "Every Day" ends up as something I could only watch just one day and never again. It rates as a 4 out of 10.




Reviewed February 22, 2018 / Posted February 23, 2018


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