Review: Every Day DVD

Image | DIRECTOR: Richard Levine | CAST: Liev Schreiber, Helen Hunt, Carla Gugino, Eddie Izzard, Ezra Miller, Brian Dennehy
3/8/11 | PRICE: DVD $27.97, Blu-ray $29.97
cast and crew interviews, deleted scenes
R | 93 min. | Comedy drama | 1.85:1 widescreen | Dolby Digital 5.1/ DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Every Day movie scene

Helen Hunt and Liev Schreiber do some pondering in Every Day.

“Writing for television does have its perks,” grins a well-spoken character early on in the comedy drama Every Day. That looks like the case for writer/director Richard Levine, who parleyed his gig as a writer for TV’s Nip/Tuck into this feature film directorial debut.

In the movie, Liev Schreiber (Salt) plays Ned, a hard-working but growingly stressed writer for a sensationalistic, sexed-up Nip/Tuck-ish TV hospital show. That’s apparently the fun part of his life, pain-in-the-ass boss (Eddie Izzard (TV’s United States of Tara) aside. At home, Ned has a beleaguered wife (Helen Hunt, As Good As It Gets); an aging, kvetching father-in-law who’s just moved into his house (Brian Dennehy, Cocoon); and a newly out gay teenage son (Ezra Miller, City Island). Ned looks like he’s about to crack. And his tempting TV co-worker (Carla Gugino, Women in Trouble) isn’t making it any easier.

There was a time when this kind of personal, indie-flavored American family “dramedy” was fresh, but it has been losing its potency for years now, probably since American Beauty in 1999. And as the situational ups and downs and comedy and drama of modern family life have been pretty well-mined, Every Day doesn’t add much more fodder to the cannon or canon. Even the most recent popular narrative wrinkle to rear its head in Every Day — baby-boomers dealing with their aging parents — has been done to better effect in The Savages and, to a lesser extent, Happy Tears.

Still, Every Day is not difficult to watch, mainly because it moves along breezily and is, not surprisingly, outstandingly acted by its ensemble, who can tackle this kind of contemporary movie in their sleep. Young Miller, in particular, does an outstanding job; he’s one of the strongest teen performers we’ve seen in a long time.

And there are some nice moments, including Schreiber’s trying to discuss “older men” with his son, Dennehy fantasizing that he’s a drummer in the Count Basie band, Hunt explaining to a doctor that “My dad’s not dead, he’s in New York,” and Carla Gugino in a bikini.

Bonus features on the DVD include 15 minutes of talking head chatter from the cast and filmmakers, all of whom only have glowing things to say about each other and the production, and seven rightly deleted scenes.


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.