Sunday 13 May 2018

Every Day by Andrews and Levithan

I wish I'd alerted you to this movie sooner, and I wish I'd gone to see it for a second time — because it has disappeared from screens with dismaying swiftness. It clearly isn't a big success, which is a great pity because it's also clearly one of the best films of the year. 

Apparently just a routine teen romance, this is actually science fiction. 

It's the story of A. — A. is a strange, body-hopping entity. Every morning A. wakes up in a new human being and inhabits this person, dominating their consciousness until midnight.

The midnight get-out, Cinderella style, is admittedly a bit hokey. But everything else is here very cool. A.'s entire existence has been spent like this. Until the age of 6 A. didn't even realise that this wasn't the way everyone lived.

Our story proper begins when A. wakes up in the body of Justin (Justice Smith), a narcissistic teenage jock who is dating Rhiannon (Angourie Rice), a sweet girl he really doesn't deserve.

And A. falls in love with her. Which leaves A. with the problem of wooing Rhiannon, each day in the body of a different teen, of any or all genders. 

Not to mention convincing her that this isn't some kind of hoax...

The whole story is beautifully contrived and expertly told. (The script is by Jesse Andrews from a novel by David Levithan.) The acting is first rate, as is the directing, by Michael Sucsy. I even loved the locations in Baltimore (my favourite US city).

The thing that impressed me most was the gender fluidity of the story. (For once that clichéd phrase is entirely apt.) When Rhiannon finally believes A. and allows herself to fall in love, it just doesn't matter whether A. is male or female or in between. Or ugly or beautiful or in between.

Back in 1969 Robert Silverberg wrote a  story called Passengers. It won the Nebula Award for best science fiction short story of that year. It concerned disembodied alien entities who could jump into human beings and take them over.

The big shock ending was when the male protgaonist is made to walk into a gay bar and hook up with another man.

In the world of Every Day this sort of thing is no longer even an issue. Which I think is a sign of how far we've come in fifty years. And the world is now a (slightly) better place.

Every Day is a highly imaginative, touching movie and supremely well crafted. It's a criminal shame that it's not a huge hit

Catch it if you can.

(Image credits: All the posters from Imp Awards.)

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