I am one of those who likes to see a movie before I have had a chance to hear or read too much about it because I don't like to sit down with a lot of preconceived notions. I feel it gives the film an opportunity to unreel and tell its story.
I also will tend to take a chance on a film that has a cast of actors that I trust because they choose good projects and then follow through with a compelling performance.
I keep abreast of new movies, but Every Day had a limited theatrical release and I had never heard of it, which gave me a true blank slate. Also, it stars Liev Schreiber, Helen Hunt, and Carla Gugino, all actors who consistently deliver.
Therefore, when the opportunity arose to review Every Day, I looked forward to popping it in to the Blu-ray player.
It didn't take long until I wondered if I would regret my decision. Within the first ten minutes of the movie, I felt as if I was watching a train wreck that would crash and burn in the next 75 minutes.
Ned (Schreiber) writes for a salacious TV show and has a crazy boss (Eddie Izzard) who is constantly demanding that Ned shocks him. Add to that, he loves his teenage son (Ezra Miller), but has not quite fully acknowledged the fact that he's gay.
And then the train comes rumbling down the track. His wife, Jeannie, (Helen Hunt) brings home her ailing father, Ernie (Brian Dennehy), a bitter, cantankerous piece of work who is driving her batty. Choo-choo!
Throw in the inevitable dalliance with his co-worker (Carla Gugino) - who could blame him - and cue the emotional carnage.
But writer and director Richard Levine, perhaps because he is plumbing from his own life, does not present this tableau as a devastating calamity but rather as a series of challenges that families have to confront and resolve, every day.
Every Day contains notable and nuanced performances. Hunt's flinty Jeannie is resilient though her unappreciative father almost breaks her.
Izzard plays a manic personality, but not for laughs, giving his character a sensitive side.
Gugino's appeal is as much about existential freedom as it is about sexual gratification.
And Schreiber finds an inner strength in this nebbish persona (albeit with his lingering Victor Creed/Sabretooth physique).
Perhaps the breakout performer is Miller, who I recently saw in Another Happy Day at the SXSW Film Festival. He is definitely one to watch.
The Blu-ray of Every Day does not contain many extras. The Cast Interviews are not that revealing except for some of the comments from Levine, who describes the background for the story.
I would be curious to know if he based the film's TV show on his stint as executive producer for Nip/Tuck or for Scoundrels.
With the dearth of bonus materials, maybe you can find the time to explore other work by Schreiber and Hunt.
Though Schreiber doesn't receive top billing, I would suggest A Walk on the Moon, the 1999 film with Diane Lane and Viggo Mortensen.
For Hunt, the obvious choice would be her Oscar winning role in As Good as It Gets. But I'm going with the 2007 movie, Then She Found Me, with newly minted Academy Award winner, Colin Firth, and Bette Midler.
Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Richard Levine
Cast: Liev Schreiber, Helen Hunt, Carla Gugino, Eddie Izzard, Brian Dennehy, Ezra Miller, Skyler Fortgang