Critic’s Corner: Every Day’s Creative take on Pansexuality

Science fiction meets teenage romance meets drama in “Every Day,” the film adaptation of David Leviathan’s book. Angourie Rice plays Rhiannon, a sixteen year old girl who falls in love with a spirit “A” that wakes up in a completely different body everyday, first that of her less-than-superb boyfriend.

“Every Day” carries throughout the surface level message of loving a person, not a body, but also succeeds in bringing up relevant thoughts of gender fluidity and pansexuality. However, the film could have been improved with deeper exploration of the various topics presented.

The film at first glance plays out like the typical young adult romance story. Girl with a sad familial backstory has a boyfriend who doesn’t treat her right, girl is introduced to new romantic interest, girl struggles with her decision going forward. It’s all very sweet but seems to offer nothing new.

The difference in “Every Day” comes as Rhiannon grapples with the logistical and emotional issues of loving someone who occupies a different body every day. Though at times leaning towards the teenage romance clichés, the film stands out on its own simply for its ability to bring up gender fluidity and pansexuality in a way that audiences should find accessible and easy to understand.

A describes their gender as both male and female and is portrayed fairly equally as those two genders. Despite being one person portrayed by so many different actors, the refreshingly diverse cast manages to maintain A’s personality throughout the film and Rice generates an easy connection with each of the actors playing A.

The acting is on par with most young adult films, simple and sweet. Jacob Batalon plays one body form of A and does well encompassing A’s initial nervousness with Rhiannon. Owen Teague stands out as most intriguing, playing Rhiannon’s friend Alexander and eventually A. As an added bonus, former Disney star Debby Ryan makes a fun mark as Rhiannon’s snarky and blunt sister.

Rhiannon and A share an obvious chemistry and have genuine discussions on the implications of their relationship. The film does a good job in making sure the audience is rooting for the best for Rhiannon and A, while making them question what the best would be in this situation. A has an endearing personality and humor, particularly when portrayed by Teague.

Despite A inhabiting female and male bodies, only one physically intimate scene in the lm is between Rhiannon and a female form of A, missing an easy chance to challenge heteronormative views of an ideal relationship in addition to addressing the gender spectrum.

Though A’s progress seems hard to track due to their ever changing body form, the audience gets to see A begin to question their role in others’ lives and what their own life means. A is particularly concerned with keeping their host body’s life the same after they leave, and challenges the audience to examine their own views on the matter.

Rhiannon also progresses in her confidence, though it seems almost too quick and too easy a transformation to be true.

The entire film in fact is somewhat lacking in transitions and explanations. For a significant portion of the film, the audience (and Rhiannon) can’t think of a reason why Rhiannon is with her jerk of a boyfriend, yet she stays with him without a true reasoning for the audience. Rhiannon is at first incredibly skeptical of A’s story, then quickly shifts to driving hours to meet A, while still dating Justin.

“Every Day” additionally fails to fully discuss the various topics presented. The dialogue glosses over the difficulty of repairing Rhiannon’s strained relationship with her father after his manic episode. Though A does consider their host body’s rights, the film skips large pieces of the discussion on autonomy that is very relevant to the central idea of a roaming spirit. This is in no way to say that films should not bring up multifaceted characters and subjects, but substantial issues like mental illness deserve a thorough discussion that goes past instant resolution.

Though a deeper discussion of the issues involved could have pushed the film past solely young adult territory, “Every Day” is a sweet film that brings necessary topics of pansexuality into popular discussion, while emphasizing the universally applicable massage of loving a person no matter the body they come in.

Sofía may be reached at
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