‘A’ new type of love story

"Every Day" is an unconventional, but inspiring romance

By on February 27, 2018

Valentine’s Day is over, but love is still in the air—and in the movies.

“Every Day,” based on the New York Times bestselling young adult novel written by David Levithan released in theaters on Feb. 23. This movie proves that love is not based on physical appearance, but by your heart and soul.

It is a story about young love, but unlike one you’ve ever seen. It follows a girl named Rhiannon (Angourie Rice), a high school student from Maryland who dates a handsome, yet egotistical boy named Justin (Justice Smith). Quickly, however, she falls in love with someone else – a spirit, named “A.” Everyday “A” wakes up in a new body and it can arrive as any gender.

“Always someone my age, never too far from the last, never the same person twice,” “A” says in the movie.

“A” is a beautiful soul –kind-hearted and loving. It really wishes the best for people and tries not to interfere with the lives it takes over for 24 hours.

Unbeknownst to Rhiannon, at the time, “A” inhabits Justin and they spend a wonderful day at the aquarium. “A” instantly falls in love with her. From there on out, “A” can’t stay away from her and ends up sharing its secret of possessing others’ bodies with her. Rhiannon is skeptical at first, and proceeds with caution. But their love is undeniable, real and beautiful.

The movie keeps you tuned-in, wondering who “A” will be next and how it’ll make its way back to Rhiannon.

Rice’s portrayal of Rhiannon is wonderful. The 17-year-old actress opens you up to an ordinary girl with an ordinary life. She shines in the way she draws out the character’s confidence and courage little by little as the movie goes on. Rhiannon starts off with Justin, a guy that cares about her when he wants to – but she’s too afraid to do anything about it. As soon as A slips into her life, you start to see the true Rhiannon, the one whose not afraid of anything.

Rice read the book even before the movie was considered, according to People. She thought it sounded like an interesting story, but was perplexed at first.

“It was definitely strange to get my head around at first,” she told People.

Debby Ryan also appears in the movie as Rhiannon’s brash older sister Jolene, a role that’s weird to see her take on when her most memorable roles are from Disney Channel’s “Suite life on Deck” and “Jessie.” Those two sweet characters are nothing like the punk sister she plays in “Every Day.” Ryan’s role, however, had little relevance and could have been omitted from the plot.

In fact, based on the trailer, it appears that a lot of Ryan’s scenes were cut. She’s a major part of the trailer including clips from scenes that didn’t make it in the actual movie. And she wasn’t the only one it happened to. One of the bodies the trailer suggests “A” takes over is of a girl that we never see in the film. In the trailer she seemed to have quite a big role, but it was completely omitted from final production.

Another sub-storyline Ryan is a part of is the estranged marriage of the girls’ mother and father and how the two don’t know how to talk or act around their parents. However, there is a longing feeling present that the girls give off wanting their parents to rekindle and form a family again.

The entire movie is so focused on the love between “A” and Rhiannon that the writing of this sub-storyline is shoddy. The parents are estranged for the entire movie, then Rhiannon confronts her mom and all of a sudden they’re a family again. The rekindling happens too quickly—you honestly don’t even see it happen, just the next minute everyone is eating dinner smiling at each other. In a sense the viewer doesn’t really care because they just want to get back to the main story.

The best part of the movie is the theme that love is not based on physicality. “A” doesn’t have a face, or a body and yet Rhiannon falls in love with it. No matter who it possesses, female or male; Rhiannon is completely head over heels.

“I hope people come out of the movie trying to be more open minded,” Rice said to People. “That was the biggest thing for me. The moral of the story is being open minded and living in the present.”

“A” says it doesn’t mind being a new person everyday, except that tomorrow is a big fat question mark. It’s able to learn so many things about the people it inhabits and as it says in the movie, “[knows] what makes each person different, and what makes everyone the same.”

What makes everyone the same is loneliness—something everyone has faced sometime or another and something very prevalent in the movie. Rhiannon’s lonely because her boyfriend treats her poorly, her parents are lonely since they separated, but most of all, “A” is lonely. Though it says it’s not, once “A” is involved in Rhiannon’s life, it realizes how important the connection is and how much it wants to retain it. It’s lived its whole life never being able to connect with anyone else—unable to leave its mark on the world. The closest it gets to doing that is by creating an Instagram with selfies of everyone it inhabits. The love between the two brings Rhiannon a new appreciation for life and “A” the confidence to start living for itself.

This love story is original and very unique. It makes you sit back and think about how humans are all connected to one another and the mark we can all leave on the world.

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About Lindsay Pytel

Associate Arts and Life Editor