Every Day (**½)

I’m not exactly sure what the point of the dramedy Every Day is, since it seems to be about absolutely nothing.  Sure, it’s supposed to be about a family in a bit of a crisis, but it never feels that way.  There are nice performances to be found, but the story really goes nowhere and just sort of stops, instead of ending properly.  Writer/director Richard Levine doesn’t really do anything wrong, but he never really gets you invested in his movie.  The film features a great lead performance by Liev Schreiber and a fun supporting turn by Eddie Izzard, but there’s really not much else to be found.  I wasn’t expecting much, but it’s still a disappointment to me.

Ned (Schreiber) is a loving husband and father as well as a somewhat successful TV writer, but he’s a bit frazzled of late.  His wife Jeannie (Helen Hunt) has been too busy dealing with her infirm father Ernie (Brian Dennehy) to really pay him any attention.  That negligence, along with stress at work from his boss Garrett (Izzard) and disagreements over how to deal with their gay son Jonah (Ezra Miller) drive him away and potentially into the arms of a co-worker named Robin (Carla Gugino).  The film really just sort of observes these situations from a distance, never really giving the plot any focus or importance.  It’s light fare, but perhaps not exactly the right tone for the film.  Any moment that’s potentially different or edgy is quickly pushed to the side, and that was incredibly frustrating to watch.

Liev Schreiber doesn’t get enough leading roles, and he takes the one he gets here and runs with it.  He elevates an underwritten character and makes him the only memorable one in the film.   He also captures what it’s like to be a frustrated writer very well.  His chemistry with the other actors is very strong, but ultimately not enough to save the film.  As for the other people in the flick, Hunt is fine but has been better, and Dennehy mostly just scowls.  Miller is actually somewhat bad, and Gugino is under-utilized, but Eddie Izzard manages to steal his scenes as a show-runner obsessed with being shocking.  These characters all feel like ones out of a sitcom, but that’s not always a big deal if the story/script is strong enough.  Sadly…it’s not.

The writer/director Levine doesn’t do anything overtly wrong, but he didn’t do enough here to convince me that this story needed to told.  The movie looks like every other family dramedy, and it sounds like it too.  He got those nice performances from Schreiber and Izzard, but there’s not really anything else there.  There’s not one memorable scene in the film.  A movie doesn’t need to be all original all the time, but if you can’t take anything away from the film, then it’s just not a success.

Every Day is an apt title for the film, since you could see this type of film at home, well…every day.  It’s derivative and ultimately pointless.  That’s not to say it’s really a bad flick, because it’s not, but it’s just not something of any note.  I kept waiting for it to find its own voice, but that never occurred.  I liked what Schreiber did with his lead role, but that alone is not enough to get me to recommend the flick.  There’s no real flaws, but no real successes either, making for something quite boring in the end.  This is the type of movie that finds its home on DVD, and even then…simply put, there are better options to be found.  Skip this one, I almost wish that I did.