- Emma Simmonds
- 16 April 2018
Earnest, sci-fi infused teen romance based on the YA bestseller
Girl meets boy becomes girl meets benign bodysnatcher in this sweet, sci-fi infused take on teen romance. Based on David Levithan's bestselling young adult novel and brought to screen by director Michael Sucsy (The Vow) and screenwriter Jesse Andrews (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl), it's a gentle drama with an interesting hook that features some heavy-handed moralising but gets by on its sincerity.
16-year-old Rhiannon (The Nice Guys' Angourie Rice) is a wholesome high-schooler dating feckless cool kid Justin (Justice Smith) who, in the words of her best friend, takes her 'totally for granted'. When Justin is inhabited by a nomadic soul named 'A', who takes up residence in a different teenager each day, Rhiannon forms a connection with this unusual entity which blossoms into a difficult-to-manage romance.
Rice has the look and spark of a young Amy Adams and makes an appealing, emotionally accessible lead. Sadly the film's tendency toward smothering earnestness can render it a touch bland; it doesn't have much fun with the premise despite a nicely assembled pop-rock soundtrack which sporadically gives it a welcome lift.
Every Day flirts with themes such as suicide and mental illness but is somewhat soft-focus, lacking the sharp edges and wit of superior teen fare. Moreover, it has been stripped down to just its romantic parts; friendship falls by the wayside and although Rhiannon suffers from a troubled home-life (a father recovering from a breakdown, an adulterous, workaholic mother) its impact is rarely felt.
But, if the message to see the person within feels commonplace, the gender-fluid love interest and correspondingly open-minded attitude to sexuality gives the film contemporary resonance and makes it quietly daring. As it basks in the warm glow of its good intentions, sentimental types will lap up the lessons in love and romantic woe, whilst only the hard of heart could take against it completely.
General release from Fri 20 Apr.