Thursday, April 23, 2020

Every Day: Teens, Love, and the Moving Target

Movie Review: Every Day (2018)
Version: EPIX on Demand

Interesting concept in the film, Every Day: A teenager trying to move through the edgy reality of high school life meets a spirit who wakes up in the body of a different person every morning but lasts only a day -- and falls in love with it. She doesn't realize it's happening at first, but finally the spirit, who calls itself "A", confides in Rhiannon (Angoruie Rice) and they try to find each other in A's new body each day.

Rhiannon first realizes something is off when her self-centered boyfriend Justin (Justice Smith) finally shows an interest in her. The next day a new girl in school asks to shadow her and is kind of clingy, but it's A in the body of Nathan (Lucas Jade Zumann) who finally sets off alarms in her and then A begins a cascade of connections and explanations each new day in new persons, while Rhiannon tries to decide whether to believe the stories she is hearing. Finally, things come together in A's possession of Alexander (Owen Teague), as A realizes he can prolong inhabiting a subject's body. But in doing so, he threatens to upend the subject's life and future, which A realizes is wrong. And so A and Rhiannon must decide whether they have a future as lovers.

As I said, this is an interesting concept. The movie fully explores its feasibility and its implications. What you need to decide is if you can take all the teen angst and wrangling around social taboos. It's a pretty well done production and the plot lines work pretty well. Nowhere do they bore you with technicalities or detailed exposition, it's mostly character and plot development. You learn to care about everyone and whether they succeed or fail and whether they're doing the right thing. So the filmmakers got that part right. There are about a dozen kids whose bodies and souls are swapped out, and everyone is believable, a risk in such an technique.

For me, the question comes down to whether you buy enough into the concept to keep watching. I watched all the way to the end. I wanted to see the two kids keep it together and find love in an impossible situation. Yet I also wanted them to be "together" enough morally to do the right thing. I'll let you watch the film to see if they got there.

Every Day is probably most fitting to a teen audience, with its references to high school life and social issues. But adults can "get" the references, too, and may enjoy watching the film with their own teens while spending time with them in these days of social distancing and being forced closer together as families and farther away from friends. It may provide an opportunity to discuss life and love and what's most meaningful to each of us.

No comments: