AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL 2010
By Don Simpson | November 2, 2010
Director: Richard Levine
Writer: Richard Levine
Starring: Liev Schreiber, Helent Hunt, Carla Gugino, Brian Dennehy, Eddie Izzard, Ezra Miller
Ned’s (Liev Schreiber) 19-year marriage to Jeannie (Helen Hunt) has reached a crossroads. Jeannie is no longer interested in having sex with Ned — this might have something to do with the stress and guilt associated with moving Jeannie’s bitter and curmudgeonly father, Ernie (Brian Dennehy), into their home to live his final days. As a scriptwriter for a risqué television drama (Mercy Medical), Ned constantly stresses over having to meet the perverted demands of his gay boss, Garrett (Eddie Izzard), to consistently churn out edgy scripts — each episode must have at least five “shocking moments” (such as bestiality or incest).
Unable to stoop to the level of the lowest common denominator on his own, Ned is assigned to work with a sexy and flirtatious colleague, Robin (Carla Gugino). Robin lives alone in a glass loft with a breathtaking view of the city and thrives on a steady diet of sushi, drugs and sex. (Robin is obviously present here to rattle Ned from of his dry and monotonous domestic routine and introduce him to everything exciting that he has missed out on in life.) Ned is quickly taken by Robin’s lavish lifestyle, seductiveness and Olympic-sized pool; but he must towel off and return to his suburban home where his distressed wife worries incessantly about her verbally abusive father and his 15-year old son Jonah’s (Ezra Miller) newly discovered gayness is giving him headaches.
This feature debut written and directer by (former Nip/Tuck scribe) Richard Levine reveals his keen ear for realistic situations and lived-in dialogue. Every Day is an incredibly honest film about a family trying to get along in life; it is a very simple story which relies heavily upon the constant bickering between Ned and Jeannie and Jeannie and Ernie to breath some life into the otherwise dull narrative.
While addressing the challenges of raising a family in the modern world, I do have some concerns about the representation of gays in Every Day. The older gay men are all portrayed as perverts and pedophiles (and unfit to father children); while the young Jonah represents the naive gay boy who dreams of a secret life and is unable to comprehend just how dangerous the big gay world really is. Gay teenage sons should not present such a dire challenge to apparently liberal suburban parents. Jeannie does seem relatively okay with everything (or Jonah is the least of her worries), and I guess Ned’s excuse could be that his job has his perspective of the world so brutally warped that he cannot trust anyone. It would have been nice to have at least one positive portrayal of a gay male in this story.