Starring: Angourie Rice, Justice Smith, Debby Ryan
Director: Michael Sucsy
Running Time: 97 mins
Every Day is an American film about the story of a high school girl who develops a unique and passionate relationship with a person who wakes up every day in the body of a different individual.
Highly reminiscent of the truly wonderful Korean romantic drama The Beauty Inside, Every Day tells a very similar story in just as riveting detail, and with just as much beautiful and kind-hearted passion from beginning to end. In that, not only does it soar with powerful and emotionally engaging drama, but its heart-warming, genuine and purely romantic intentions make for a film that’s almost impossible not to adore.
First things first, however, I must stress that Every Day is not a Hollywood remake of The Beauty Inside. If you liked that, then you’ll certainly love this film, as the two tell very, very similar stories – but there are key distinctions between them that actually make a big difference in the end, with Every Day based on a novel of the same name that introduces another level of intrigue on top of the core romance.
But more on that later, because the most important thing to know about this film is that it’s an immensely wonderful, kind-hearted and romantic watch through and through. Its fantasy premise may seem ridiculous, and its high school setting may at first appear to take some of the emotional gravitas away from the situation, but the entire film is delivered with such brilliant passion and purely positive intentions that I couldn’t help but fall totally in love from the very first scene.
Yes, it’s sappy, and the central message of love conquering all may sound a little on the cheesy side, but there’s something very different about the way that Every Day is able to tell a romantic story, combining exterior intrigue from its fantasy premise with impassioned and truly beautiful romantic drama, setting it far apart from the more generic and predictable entries in the genre.
I had a rather similar reaction to The Beauty Inside, so there is clearly something about how the film uses the story of a person falling in love with someone that changes face every day that really turns this genre into a stunning spectacle. Perhaps it is that pure romance between two souls that conquers appearance, personality and everything in between. Now, that may sound horribly sappy, but when such a story is brought to life with such electric passion and graceful style, it makes a world of difference, and even the coldest of hearts will struggle not to be melted by the emotion on display in Every Day.
But on top of that beautiful central romance, Every Day manages to use its fantasy premise to brilliant effect – in a way that not even The Beauty Inside managed. While the Korean film told the story of a man who woke up with a different body each morning, Every Day sees this person transfer between the bodies of others around them – whether it be their classmates or someone they’ve never met – every day.
In that, the film introduces a riveting dramatic dilemma that centres on the morals of taking control of someone’s life – even just for a day. The story’s kind-hearted and positive core is clear from the start, as our main character insists they do everything possible not to change the life of the person they are inhabiting for the day, even where they may want to. However, with the development of their romance with a girl from the local high school, things become far more complicated, leading to both enthralling and often emotionally devastating moral quandaries.
And that’s where this film rises above even The Beauty Inside. It may be a little cheesier at times, but with such a similar story, it goes one further with riveting and unique moral drama that means it’s not all just about the romance – something which hugely impressed me throughout.
Director Michael Sucsy does a wonderful job at bringing the whole film together so elegantly, with a style that never feels as sappy or trivial as its premise or setting may at first suggest, and a conviction for real, powerful drama and emotion that many other romances – particularly high school ones – are often reluctant to portray.
And in the lead role, Angourie Rice is wonderful as a caring, genuine and passionate partner to a person who effectively changes their life every day. Again, lesser romantic dramas would have required more melodramatic emotion and gesturing from the lead love interest in Rice, but her performance is wonderfully level-headed from beginning to end, allowing you to get to understand and sympathise with her all the more, thereby furthering the power of the central romance even more.
Overall, I absolutely adored Every Day. Sure, it may not sound like an all-time classic from its premise, but it’s a film that not only uses a unique story to great effect throughout, but it’s all delivered with such stunning passion, beautiful elegance and pure, genuine romance that it’s nearly impossible not to fall totally in love with, and that’s why I’m giving it an 8.5.