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"Every Day" Struggles Between Drama And Comedy

Piya Sinha-Roy |
January 15, 2011 | 3:12 p.m. PST

Senior Entertainment Editor

 Helen Hunt, Richard Levine, Carla Gugino and Liev Schreiber at the premiere of "Every Day" in Los Angeles (Photo by Shotgun Spratling)
Helen Hunt, Richard Levine, Carla Gugino and Liev Schreiber at the premiere of "Every Day" in Los Angeles (Photo by Shotgun Spratling)
“Every Day”

(USA, 2010, 93 mins)

When a middle-aged man suffers a mid-life crisis, what does he do? Why, throw himself into a scandalous affair with his younger, sexier co-worker of course. And therein lies the premise of writer/director Richard Levine’s “Every Day.”

Ned (Liev Schreiber) finds himself struggling to deliver the outrageous scripts demanded of him at his work. The boardroom experiences were based on Levine’s own, from his time as a executive producer and writer on “Nip/Tuck” and he stated, “It was fun for me to mine the experience in an entertaining way.”

It is in the boardroom that Ned and Robin (Carla Gugino), the sultry co-worker with an air of danger embedded in her leather jacket, are told to work together to improve Ned’s work, and marks the start of Ned’s struggle with temptation. Elsewhere, his 15-year-old son Jonah (Ezra Miller) is out of the closet and exploring life with a new zest, as most teens tend to do. 

It is Ned and Jonah’s relationship, most of which is conveyed without words, that is the most touching part of the film, as the father tries to protect his son in the same way he’d protect a daughter. “I think the challenge is, that what isn’t said is in a way, more powerful than what is said, so you want to have actors who embody that level of thought and inner life,” said Levine, of Liev and Ezra’s scenes together.

Ned’s wife Jeannie (Helen Hunt) also deals with her own demons as her elderly grouchy father (Brian Dennehy) comes to life with them, and they find a way to connect.

A tale of a bored husband looking for thrills outside of his mundane married life is hardly original, but Richard Levine’s semi-autobiographical story is a compelling watch on the big screen. With solid performances from Eddie Izzard as the camp and flamboyant boss, Helen Hunt, Brian Dennehy, and Liev Schreiber, and a stunning performance for newcomer Ezra Miller, “Every Day” explores the trials and tribulations of an average family dealing with life and death.

It’s hard not to come away slightly confused with the final message of the film. The film treads a fine line between drama and comedy, and sometimes blurs it, but in essence, is a dark comedy.  While not revolutionary, and often at times, a little depressing, “Every Day” is worth watching, if only for the raunchy sex/fight scene in the pool.

Reach Senior Entertainment Editor Piya Sinha-Roy here, and follow her on Twitter @PiyaSRoy



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