For many critics, “Every Day,” a movie based on the novel by David Levithan, gave off the impression of being an average “teen film” with the only difference being that it was “all inclusive.” While it did deliver in having a relatively diverse cast, the film ended up being a lot more than that.
The basic plot of the movie is that there’s a person named “A” who switches bodies every day, and doesn’t have any control over who it is. The only real rule is that it’s always someone in the same general area, and someone of the same age as “A.” One day, while switching bodies with a boy named Justin, “A” meets Justin’s girlfriend named Rhiannon and they form a huge connection.
The overarching problem is that “A” will have to switch bodies and will no longer be able to see Rhiannon, especially since she doesn’t know that “A” exists. Eventually once she finds out, they have to navigate trying to see each other and all of the complications that come with it.
The story may sound somewhat derivative initially, and in many ways, it is. However, something that made this film stand out is that it did not shy away from tougher issues teenagers face today. While inhabiting a depressed girl, “A” saves her from committing suicide by getting her help from her father. “A” experiences the life of a transgender male, and all of the scrutiny that can come with it. Not only that, but every time “A” shifts into someone new, the audience gets to see many different types of home lives, and how teenagers potentially deal with varying styles of parenting, or other circumstances surrounding them.
In the novel, the main perspective was from that of “A,” allowing the reader to see the thoughts and feelings of someone who switches bodies every day, never really being able to make a lasting connection to anyone. However, the movie focuses a lot more on Rhiannon and her backstory, which is understandable since focusing on the many different actors and actresses playing one role could get a tad confusing for the audience. Seeing the story unfold from more of Rhiannon’s perspective gives the movie a lot more continuity.
While the main actress, Angourie Rice, was excellent in her role as Rhiannon, the rest of the cast was truly outstanding in that 15 people all had to play the same person in a different body. Keeping the same “feel” from that many actors and actresses cannot be an easy task, but somehow the cast managed to pull it off quite convincingly.
The dynamic between Rhiannon, “A,” and all of the people that were previously inhabited by “A,” offered for some very humorous moments as well as some rather awkward moments for the characters. One of the biggest comedic moments is when Rhiannon goes to visit a previous “A” inhabitant named Nathan, played by Lucas Jade Zumann. As “A,” Nathan was lovable and goofy, as “A” generally is. However, Nathan ends of up being convinced he was possessed, and fears for Rhiannon since she is aware of what happened. It was slight side plots like those that brought character and dimension to the story, since the people that “A” inhabited had their own lives and dynamic personalities.
Seeing as the movie is all about switching between different people, it’s no surprise that “Every Day” was advertised as a film that looks past race, gender, and sexual orientation. For the most part, it lived up to this, since “A” was portrayed as many different races, as both male and female, and with many different body types, all of which Rhiannon fell in love with and accepted with open arms. Although this played a big part in generating enthusiasm for the film, and was important part of telling the story more beautifully, in the end the movie was more about learning to love someone who changes, and someone who one really connects with no matter who they are.
No, it isn’t the most groundbreaking film one will ever see, but the lovable characters, the backstories that the audience learns about, the phenomenal portrayal of “A” through 15 different people, and the overall message of loving someone for who they truly are makes “Every Day” a movie to see.
Grace Becker // News Editor