Movie Review - Every Day (2018)
The difference being is that the gimmicks in the previous movies were designed to reveal something about the specific characters. The gimmick here is meant to reveal something aspirational about humanity. Nothing is really revealed about the characters here at all. This movie is also an example of the film trope of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl or Manic Pixie Dream Boy. Here, it's actually a Manic Pixie Dream Spirit. The problem is that the film trope is supposed to teach or change the protagonist in some way, but here the protagonist simply goes from having a black boyfriend who's distant and isn't as intellectual to a white boyfriend who's more doting.
However, one day, Justin's body is taken over by a spirit that calls itself "A." Apparently, A is the same age as Rhiannon but every day, A wakes up in the body of a different person. The different person has to be the same age and in the same geographic area, probably within a 50 to 100-mile radius. A can only stay for a day and A can never be the same person twice. A thinks that A originated in Phoenix, Arizona, but A has no clue who A's original family was.
When it comes to those rules, one of those rules gets challenged, but it's a wonder why the other rules aren't challenged or questioned at all. Unfortunately, the movie doesn't spend too much time in A's point-of-view. The movie is mostly told through Rhiannon's perspective, so what A is truly experiencing is a bit lost, which is a failing in this film but endemic to the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope. For example, A has the ability to stay in one body for more than one day, but it seems as if A never thought to do that until Rhiannon suggests it, which doesn't seem believable at all.
While A is in Justin's body, A spends the day with Rhiannon being the best boyfriend ever. What the movie fails to point out is that unlike Justin, A can be the best boyfriend ever because A doesn't have any obligations. Justin has tests, sports to practice and his family obligations. A doesn't have that, so A can ditch or abandon things to focus all attention to Rhiannon. The movie does eventually shine a bit of light on that fact, but it's sad that Rhiannon doesn't realize that herself and A has to be the one to explain it to her.
Yet, any idea that this film could be an allegory for transgender people might be over-selling it. I'm not sure transgender people would argue that what's on the outside doesn't count. Transgender people do believe what's on the outside does count and having what's on the outside match what's on the inside is in fact key. This film could appeal to people who are either binary, intersex, gender non-conforming, or non-gendered, as well as appealing to people who are either bisexual or sexually fluid. It could also be good for people who might be what was described as transracial in terms of Rachel Dolezal. "A" could be representational for all those people.
"A" could be representational for them, but, as was said, this film isn't told from A's point-of-view. This movie is told from Rhiannon's perspective. If this movie were simply going from body to body and being every gender and sexuality and race, watching A be both boyfriend and girlfriend to various people, then this movie would be a triumph of true fluidity of sexual preference and expression with a question of how our identities may or may not be defined by those external things.
Sadly, Sucsy either himself or through his writer misses that opportunity entirely in favor of a rather bland, monogamous pairing that ultimately only reinforces a hetero-normative coupling. The movie flirts with the possibility of a queer relationship or a same-sex romance when A inhabits the body of a girl. However, when it's time for Rhiannon to take off her clothes and get into bed with A, which happens a couple of times, A is always a white boy.
Even though it's not the same, Quantum Leap was a better story about someone inhabiting the lives of others, or Star Trek: The Next Generation did an episode in its fourth season called "The Host," which was also a better story about a spirit inhabiting other bodies and lives but being in love with one girl. Those were science-fiction shows that dealt with this premise a bit more interestingly than this.
Rated PG-13 for language, teen drinking and suggestive material.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 37 mins.
Available on DVD and VOD.