Liev Schreiber (Salt) heads an all-star cast in this warm and wise comic drama as Ned, a loving husband and devoted father dealing with life's curveballs. He's got a stressed-out wife (Helen Hunt, As Good As It Gets) an independent teenage son (Ezra Miller, City Island), and an embittered father-in-law (Brian Dennehy, Silverado) who's turning his home upside down. Ned's job writing a scandalous TV series for a demanding boss (Eddie Izzard, Valkyrie) is unfulfilling, and late night rewrites with a sexy co-worker (Carla Gugino, Entourage) might just push him over the deep end. This modern family story by Nip/Tuck producer/writer Richard Levine is filled with heart, humor and life's unexpected twists that teach Ned that marriage and parenthood don’t always go according to the script.
Every once in a while I get a movie to review like 'Every Day.' When I open the package I automatically recognize all the stars involved. This time Live Schreiber, Helen Hunt, Carla Gugino, Brian Dennehy, and Eddie Izzard star. I think to myself, That's a solid cast. Why haven't I heard of this movie? Then I stick it in, watch it, and realize exactly why.
'Every Day' brags that it was accepted in the Tribeca Film Festival and the Seattle International Film Festival. Having been to Sundance three years in a row now, every year you see a few films packed with stars that never seem to make it. The movie seems like they crammed in as many familiar faces as they could get and didn't really bother all that much with creating relatable characters or interesting situations to put them in. 'Every Day' is a star-packed indie movie, one that rightly got lost in the film festival shuffle.
Ned (Schreiber) is a lowly writer for a premium cable channel drama. He's coaxed at work, by his boss Garrett (Izzard), who thinks that there should be at least three shocking scenes in every episode. The show is never named, but posters of faceless buxom nurses hung around the writer's room are emblazoned with the title 'Mercy Hospital.' Garrett is the only interesting character in this sorry state of affairs. A movie about his high-maintenance show-runner character would have been far more entertaining.
At home, Ned is faced with a few dilemmas. His teenage son, Jonah (Ezra Miller), is gay and wants to go to a gay prom with a bunch of older guys. Ned's wife, Jeannie (Hunt), has just brought her dying Dad (Dennehy) to live at their house before he dies. Finally, Ned may end up having an affair with his sexy writing co-worker, Robin (Gugino), because of all the stress at home.
'Every Day' spreads itself far too thin. One moment we're hanging out with cranky old Brian Dennehy as he yells at his young grandson for playing the violin incorrectly, and then zoom, we're now with Jonah as he gets involuntarily drugged by a hormonal older man. Ned sort of glides around through the movie without engaging with anyone. He never figures out how to handle his son's situation, and therefore makes the son's entire narrative null. He never really deals with the situation with his wife's father being in the house, so again, no resolution there either. Now, I'm not one that craves catharsis at every turn, but if they've set these characters up with certain problems and trials, then they need to at least address them.
Surprisingly, Hunt is a shining star in this film, and seems like she could have carried an entirely different film about her character struggling with family troubles. Schreiber appears bored and uninterested, until the time comes for him to get naked with Gugino in a pool
The whole narrative lacks focus. It's like watching an hour-long drama on television, one that you know will have 18 more episodes. Only here the episode is an hour and a half long and that's all you get. The situations set up here could run an entire television season, but they're barely glossed over here. 'Every Day' is simply a waste of some very good talent.
Shot digitally, 'Every Day' has that all-too-familiar flat digital look to it. The 1080p AVC-encoded picture never really seems to pop. For the most part it looks like something that should be airing on the Lifetime channel.
Colors are a tad murky, and blacks are often crushing and depthless. Skin tones are somewhat flushed. Clarity is never striking, as much of the movie has a softer appearance to it. Detail works well, with facial details like Dennehy's age-lines or Izzard's swarthy goatee well defined. Shimmering exists on tightly line-packed jackets and other clothes with lined designs. While there is some shimmering the rest of the movie is void of any other artifacts that may end up being distracting.
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix seems just about as lifeless as the its video counterpart. It isn't a bad mix, it's just altogether forgettable. Voices are reproduced with clarity, although a few whispered spots are dropped into the fray. LFE is only present during a couple dance scenes where music blasts in the background. Even though there are a few scenes that appear to be in busy clubs, the rear channels never really join in on the fun. This is a very standard audio presentation for a drama such as 'Every Day'.
'Every Day' is not a hidden gem of a movie. It's a waste of some good actors as they wallow around in an unfocused narrative. Even Gugino's strikingly good looks couldn't pull this one out of its bog of conventionality. The video and audio are right around average for a movie of this ilk. Hardly any special features to speak of. Overall, I'd say skip this one.