Based on the 2012 novel by David Levithan, Every Day follows “A,” an entity who wakes up in a different body everyday as they fall for Rhiannon, the girlfriend of one of the bodies A wakes up in. The latest entry in the slew of YA novels-turned-films, Every Day redefines what it means to fall in love and stay in love with someone despite the changes they go through.
The female lead, Rhiannon, is a typical 16 year old living in the suburbs of Baltimore. She’s got an iPhone, an award-winning smile (even if she doesn’t know it), a dysfunctional but functioning family, and a boyfriend—who treats her like shit. But everything changes when her boyfriend decides one day to whisk her away to the beach, creating the best day of her life.
However, it wasn’t really her boyfriend, Justin. It was A in Justin’s body.
While tales of miss-matched love often explore enemies-to-lovers or human/supernatural creature tropes, the relationship in Every Day is purely human. Just, not the same one every day. Or at least, not the same body. Every Day questions what it means to be human and what it means for love to persist when it isn’t what you thought it might be.
In the beginning of the film, A asks what Rhiannon's type is. She responds by saying “tall and slender guys, with nice shoulders.” It makes sense. Her boyfriend, Justin, is all of these things. However, as she falls for A, her “type” evaporates as she becomes intimate with several iterations of A on several occasions. A always inhabits someone the same age as them, but economic status, race, size, ableness, and gender are subject to change everyday at midnight.
On the discussion of gender, for a straight-passing girl who perceivably never had to think about her sexuality before, Rhiannon's journey is almost non-existent. Which is, refreshing. Instead of being hung up specifically on the issue of gender, Rhiannon allows herself to fall fully for A, no matter the skin they wear that day. While the film doesn’t present the “gender issue” as a pressing issue, they are certain to acknowledge it. In A’s first few female bodies, Rhiannon is hesitant to engage in physical touch, but as time goes on, sexual preference as a bias begins to fall away.
Rhiannon, in general, appears very accepting of the LGBTQ+ community—a starting point decency that even her boyfriend can’t seem to live up to. However, Rhiannon openly jokes with A and a boy as the boy hits on A while A is in Alexander’s body. Rhiannon also quickly switches to proper pronouns upon being corrected for misgendering one of A’s bodies. While Rhiannon’s preference adheres to what she described as her “type,” by the second act she has no qualms of making out with A even when they’re in a female body.
While Rhiannon does end up with Alexander, and A has to learn to move on, the fact the pair’s love story was able to exist in the first place is ground-breaking in the conversation around the human connection. Every Day proves that love is more than skin-deep in a YA movie that doesn’t hinge on comas and cancer or murder and suicide.
While Every Day drops several beats and plots from the novel, it will no doubt set a precedence for seeking and accepting the love beyond what we think we deserve.