you can tell by the somewhat generic title, Every Day is the story of
what Sly Stone used to call everyday people – at least they think they are.
A mostly clever and interesting dramedy about a well-off forty-something
couple wilting under the pressures of the outside world, the film is
concurrently very relatable and complete fantasy. However, it mostly works
very well until a just a bit too-polished and tidy ending. Endings in
everyday life are almost always much more messy.
Every Day has going for it the most is some not-very-everyday (that
is to say extremely good) performances by a smart and nuanced cast. Liev
Schreiber is as always terrific as Ned – a forty-something
professional TV writer (that’s not very everyday!)
who is going through a series of career and
personal traumas. He works on a cheesy, button-pushing TV series that
prides itself in having at least five shocks per episode, but Ned is having
trouble keeping up with the “top this!” scandalous storylines. (Brit comic
Eddie Izzard has some sharp fun as his self-absorbed boss.)
has been married for twenty-some years to his college sweetheart, Jeannie
(Helen Hunt). Jeannie is a stay-at-home mom who is now being overwhelmed by
the responsibility of taking care of her cantankerous, terminally-ill father
(Brian Dennehey) – who has just moved in with the family.
the meantime, their fifteen-year-old son Jonah (Ezra Miller) has just come
out of the closet and wants to start to socialize in the older gay
community, leading to some passive-aggressive sparring with dad. And their
youngest son? Well, he’s just a bit precocious.
Ned’s professional concerns escalate, he falls in with another writer at the
show, the beautiful-but-live-for-the-day Robin (Carla Gugino). Robin
reawakens the long-married Ned’s libido and appears to offer an intriguing
alternative to the complexities, problems and staidness of long-time married
life. Of course, it turns out that Robin also has some relationship
skeletons in the closet.
Every Day was
written and directed by TV vet Richard Levine of the series Nip/Tuck,
giving the storyline – particularly Ned’s work life – a feel of realism and
just slight a slight whiff of condemnation about the world of TV.
However, the audience can’t help but notice that Ned is not necessarily an
everyday person, though he is certainly going through a rough patch. He’s
obviously well-off. His wife doesn’t have to work, they live in a gorgeous
home and he can apparently afford to move his father-in-law into a nursing
home full time without seeming to worry about the expenses.
not suggesting that rich (or even very fiscally comfortable) people do not
have serious problems in their lives. I’m just saying that his apparent
financial liquidity heads off a lot of complications and potential
roadblocks caused by those problems that other families with lesser means
would still have to weigh.
gay son throughout seems to be a level-headed and reasonable kid and Ned
himself has nothing against homosexuality – as can be gleaned from some
verbal sparring with his proudly out boss.
Therefore, the kid’s sexuality seems more the dad’s problem – that he can’t
quite allow himself to deal with it – than the kid’s.
his career problems, though real, are somewhat of his own making. He knew
what the show was about before he took the job. And he does eventually
passionately – if just slightly over-the-toply – stand his ground against
the rampant sensationalism on the show.
However, even though Every Day is not quite as everyday as it would
like to think, it is a variation on a common problem for people of a
certain age. Thanks to strong performances, Every Day allows us to
meet one of these families and feel that we have learned from their
experience. You never know quite what is happening in anyone’s home and
Every Day is at its most interesting because it opens a window into one
particular home and lets us see what is going on inside.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2011 PopEntertainment.com.
All rights reserved. Posted: January 8, 2011.