Every Day, a workaday domestic drama from writer-director Richard Levine, is loosely
(very loosely) of the same genus as films like Smart People,
The Squid and the Whale and Running with Scissors, though pretty much
vacuumed free of all the more colorful angst and conflict those films
peddle. It sketches its characters humanely, but comes across as
exceedingly polite and pedestrian, never particularly willing to take a
strong stand one way or another. As such, it’s a shrug.
While his wife Jeannie (Helen Hunt) struggles in her role as a reluctant caregiver to her ailing, formerly estranged dad Ernie (Brian Dennehy), New York TV scribe Ned (Liev Schreiber) tries to negotiate a narrow professional pass, satisfying the sensationalist urges of his boss Garrett (Eddie Izzard) on a sexy medical soap opera serial. Mandated script fixes find Ned paired with coworker Robin (Carla Gugino), who provides characteristic temptation.
A film of pleasantly half-sketched familial noodling, Every Day
fails to satisfyingly connect not so much because of what it bungles in
execution as what it just never really tries to do — namely bring
substantive conflict to the fore. Lacking in any major catharsis, the
film perhaps angles to be chiefly a snapshot of the accumulated burdens
of life’s quotidian responsibilities, but instead merely comes across as
inconsequential. There’s no payoff of deep, hidden pain or fire-born resilience; in fact, there is not much honest dysfunction at all.
Everything is instead played fairly bland, and middle-of-the-road. Ernie is dying, but his grandkids seem to have little investment in this revelation. Several pressing conversations between characters — like how to broach the subject of an assisted care facility — are started and never really finished, and even a subplot involving Ned and Jeannie’s homosexual teenage son Jonah (Ezra Miller), who wants to attend a “gay prom” but ends up getting inappropriately hit on by an older guy, fizzles out a bit strangely.
The lead performances are competent but not particularly stirring. Gugino again proves herself fetching, while Miller (City Island) brings an appealing, uncomplicated honesty to Jonah — refreshing in an era when so many teen characters are rendered as little more than attitudinal bundles. Overall, though, Every Day feels lacking in defined dramatic stakes. The exact opposite of the outlandish stories Ned is asked to write, it is polite and genteel, but also ultimately yawningly pointless.
Housed in a regular Blu-ray snap-shut case, Every Day comes to the format presented in 1080p high-definition 1.85:1 widescreen, with an English language DTS-HD master audio 5.1 track and optional English SDH and Spanish subtitles. Its picture is sharp and free of any grain or edge enhancement. Bonus features consist of around 15 minutes’ worth of cast and crew interviews, the movie’s trailer and a collection of seven deleted scenes — decent inclusions all, but nothing built for repeat viewing. Visit your favorite brick-and-mortar retailer if that’s still your thing, or to purchase the Blu-ray via Amazon, click here. C (Movie) C+ (Disc)