MOVIE: *1/2 (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Liev Schreiber plays Ned, a middle-aged husband who is facing many challenges in his life. His teenage son is gay and wants to start a relationship with an older man. His wife (Helen Hunt) has recently brought her acerbic and chronically ill father home to live with them. And his job as a TV writer on one of the edgiest shows on cable has hit a wall. While trying to deal with all the stresses at home, Ned is tempted by his sexy co-worker Robin (Carla Gugino) who might end up being his new writing partner.
WHAT I LIKED
A film like this is at the very least relatable to someone in middle age who is facing the realities of life. It brings to life some of the darker moments in a marriage, which happen no matter how good your relationship is. The courtship and honeymoon period is always the most enjoyable because the worries are less and the reality of life hasn’t sunk in. This is what makes affairs happen, which is how Ned is tempted by Robin. Who wouldn’t be tempted if Carla Gugino showed up in a bikini?
Ultimately, “Every Day” is a dysfunctional family drama, and fans of this type of story should enjoy that aspect to the film.
And Carla Gugino in a bikini. Did I mention that?
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
The biggest problem I have with dysfunctional family dramas is that I lose respect for the characters when they are bad parents or do stupid things. This happens throughout the film – whether it’s the parents not having a united front on the rules for their kids or whether it’s Ned refusing to put his foot down about letting his wife’s father live with them. I see the breakdown of the family in this film as a result of the family not being that good to begin with.
The resolution of the film relies too much on passive events than actual character change. Even if elements are resolved, nothing has really been fixed. The parents are still bad parents, and the marriage is still relatively loveless. I just don’t buy any recovery in this film.
Finally, Ned’s job as a TV writer plays well, but it loses any sort of punch when he feels the need to shame the show he’s working on for being too much. This seems to be too much of tip of the hat to writer/director Richard Levine, who worked for years on the edgy show “Nip/Tuck.”
In the special features, Levine admits that he based this film on his experiences with his own family’s troubles. I can respect that, but I find stories like these to be too close to the writer to be realistically impacting. I’ve seen several movies lately (including “The Poker House,” “Two Weeks” and “Like Dandelion Dust”) which are just too close to the writer and director’s life experience to make a strong film.
Along with a slate of deleted scenes, there’s mid-length set of interviews with the cast and the crew of the film, offering insight into the development and production.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Fans of dysfunctional family dramas.