Case Number 20942: Small Claims Court


Image Entertainment // 2010 // 93 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Tom Becker (Retired) // March 21st, 2011

The Charge

Not quite the party you signed up for...

The Case

Ned (Liev Schreiber, Scream 2) is going through a rough time. His incapicated father-in-law, Ernie (Brian Dennehy, Righteous Kill), is moving into his home, which is stressing out his wife, Jeanne (Helen Hunt, Pay It Forward). His oldest son, Jonah (Ezra Miller, City Island), is an out-and-proud (though not especially loud) teen, which makes Ned more uncomfortable than he's comfortable admitting. Ned's job as a writer for a nighttime TV medical soap seems endangered because Ned can't come up with weekly abominations his boss (Eddie Izzard, The Riches) demands to keep the show buzzworthy. And after 19 monogamous years, Ned is considering a little NSA relaxation with a sexy co-worker (Carla Gugino, Watchmen).

Every Day is yet another dysfunctional-family indie dram-com. It hits the mid-life crisis business, the quirky kids business, and the absurdity-of-the-world-at-large business. It's the creation of a former TV writer, Richard Levine, who worked on Nip/Tuck, and more than anything else, it resembles a made-for-TV movie.

Every Day is a deeply routine and mediocre film. The characters are reasonably well drawn and relatable, and the situations are fairly recognizable and relatable, but the whole thing is so low-key and earnest, that there's little here to grab your attention. It's not a bad movie, it's not a good movie, it's just inconsequential.

Liev Schreiber does fine as the temporarily harried Ned, using an over-all light touch to play a man who finds himself losing control of his world. Hunt, whose early success depended on her comedic gifts, is saddled with the role of long-suffering wife, mother, and daughter, and other than throw her into these situations, Levine gives her little to do besides exhibit frustration.

Dennehy plays the irascible old man as an irascible old man, but Levine seems torn between making him a joke or a tragic figure, and so kind of straddles him somewhere in the middle. Personally, I don't find pee jokes about an incapacitated senior citizen to be particularly funny, but incontinence seems to be played for chuckles, and Ernie has apparently been a jerk for most of his life, so we don't deal but so much with the tragedy of aging. Ernie is just another cross for the family to bear, and an excuse for a quick, tacked-on moment of resolution before the inevitably "moving" climax.

Miller has what could have been the most interesting storyline, although it's nothing really new: Jonah decides to let loose his teen curiosity by sneaking out to spend time with a guy in his 20s. We know the guy's trouble when he meets Jonah at a GLBT dance and announces that he has a boyfriend, but they're breaking up. From there, it's a short, black night into hell and ecstasy (or extasy) as the guy takes the obviously underage Jonah to a sleazy club, tries do drug the boy with an hallucenigic-coated tongue kiss, and goes for broke with an sleazy come-on in a grimy bathroom. Meanwhile, Dad's getting his inner satyr going with the flighty but fetching Gugino. Everybody gets a life lesson and hugs. Roll credits.

Despite its efforts to be daring, what with its subplots about a gay teen and an over-the-top TV show (giving Levine the opportunity to make bestiality jokes), Every Day is a tedious and self-important slog. There's nothing glaringly terrible about it, it's just something anyone who watches higher-echelon indie films has seen time and again.

The disc is an unimpressive Blu-ray with a flat-looking picture and undistinguished audio; I can't imagine this looking appreciably different on standard def. For supplements, there are cast interviews lauding the work, a few deleted scenes, and a trailer.

The Verdict

If your goal is to watch 100 indie family dram-coms, with Little Miss Sunshine as your starting point, then have it; otherwise, there's not a whole lot to recommend about Every Day.

Guilty of being yet another face in the crowd.

Review content copyright © 2011 Tom Becker; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2016 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 68

Perp Profile
Studio: Image Entertainment
Video Formats:
* 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)

Audio Formats:
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)

* English (SDH)
* Spanish

Running Time: 93 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Rated R

Distinguishing Marks
* Deleted Scenes
* Interviews
* Trailer

* IMDb