Exploring the universal themes of true love, identity and coming of age, the upcoming charming movie “Every Day” reflects very contemporary ideas about acceptance and the freedom to be whoever you are – an idea very resonant in today’s young people who increasingly reject categorization.
The movie follows a teenage entity named only A, who wakes up every day in a different body, Every Day deals with the challenges faced when A falls head over heels in love with Rhiannon (Angourie Rice), a girl unlike anyone they’ve ever met. Can you have a relationship with a soul who inhabits a different body every day – sometimes boy, sometimes girl, sometimes the school quarterback, sometimes the outcast? Who are you removed of your body, your race, your clothes, your family? The story is the actualization of the old adage that we should ‘love someone for who they are on the inside,’ all the more powerful because it is set during the teenage years when we customarily try on and experiment with myriad external identities in an effort to figure out we are.
Screenwriter Jesse Andrews also opted to fill out Rhiannon’s world, specifically giving her a family backstory that didn’t exist in the novel. Rhiannon’s father is recovering from a nervous breakdown and not working, her mother is the sole breadwinner, her sister Jolene is a bit of a wild child, and Rhiannon is the rock trying to hold everything together. “What was great about what Jesse did with Rhiannon’s story – introducing the family and their history – is that it gives Rhiannon a really clear character arc,” says Grass. “When we meet Rhiannon she has a real desire for normalcy but she is also somewhat stuck and unable to fully discover herself because her focus is on supporting her family. This is the foundation from which she takes off on this incredible journey.”
Like so many her age, when the producers approached Angourie they discovered that she had already read the book and was a fan. “I loved the book and I love concepts like this. The story questions things we take for granted about how we think about ourselves and how don’t always see people for who they really are, focusing too much on outside appearances. I thought it would make an awesome movie.”
The Rhiannon who we meet at the beginning of the film is living a fairly conventional life, albeit being the rock of her destabilized family. A nice girl, a good friend, a solid student, Rhiannon is dating the popular boy at school, though she doesn’t feel very connected to him or much appreciated. She’s playing all the parts she feels she should play at the expense of her own self-discovery.
Rice adds, “She and everyone around her are all seeing each other not for who they are, but for who they think they should be, which I think is pretty common. Another important part of Rhiannon’s journey is learning to see and accept those around her, and she then shares that perspective with her family.”
“Every Day” opens February 21 in cinemas nationwide from Pioneer Films.