Like a lot of fantasy romance premises, the one in “Every Day” is creepy if you think about it, so don’t. This affable adaptation of David Levithan’s young adult novel, directed by Michael Sucsy (“The Vow”), is a fine piece of misty-eyed teenage pulp, never mind the metaphysical ethical quandaries.
It’s about a genderless soul who wakes up each morning in a different body, inhabits it for 24 hours, then quantum leaps to another one — male or female, any race, but always the same age as our traveler (about 17), and always geographically nearby. This person calls themselves A and has no control over any of it. A can access the memories of the people they inhabit, but not all at once, so there are always awkward moments early in the day as A gets up to speed on who his or her friends are, where he or she goes to school, and so forth.
One fateful day, A takes the form of Justin (Justice Smith), the somewhat meat-headed boyfriend of Rhiannon (Angourie Rice), who is delighted that her beau is more sensitive and compassionate than usual. They have a splendid afternoon and evening together (which Justin doesn’t remember the next day), and A, for the first time, begins to fall in love.
It is several days and bodies later before A is able to convince Rhiannon that all of this is true, that the mousy girl from the library yesterday (Katie Douglas) and the large Hawaiian boy she’s talking to today (Jacob Batalon) are actually the same tender soul that was animating Justin last Thursday. (Note to girls with meat-headed boyfriends: If your man is unusually caring one day, don’t overlook the possibility that he is literally possessed.) Once Rhiannon realizes she’s falling in love with A, the question becomes: How do you have a relationship with someone who’s physically a different person every day?
Angourie Rice, seen last year in “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and “The Beguiled,” does very well in a difficult role that never lets her spend more than a few scenes with any one actor. With the infectious spirit of a young Amy Adams, she quickly creates chemistry with each of the several actors who play A. Credit is also due to Justice Smith, who credibly plays Justin and Justin-inhabited-by-A as two different people.
The romantic notion that A and Rhiannon are in love with one another’s souls and that physical appearance is irrelevant is undercut by the fact that on the days when they want to be physically affectionate, A usually happens to be a cute boy. But Rhiannon does kiss a female A once, and not all of her A’s are white, either, for whatever that’s worth. An androgynous A (Ian Alexander) whom Rhiannon initially misgenders states the theme that might resonate most with teen viewers: “Not everyone’s body aligns with their mind.”
As for the finer points of inhabiting a stranger’s body for 24 hours, the possible harm you could do to that person’s life, the obligation you’d have not to do anything they wouldn’t do themselves, the intimate knowledge you’d gain about them and their romantic partners — on those matters, the film punts. There’s one day when A actually becomes Rhiannon! In the shower, he apologizes to her repressed (imprisoned?) soul, which we are led to understand is semi-aware of being possessed, for inadvertently checking out her lady parts. I know “consent” isn’t a factor when he can’t control whose body he leaps into, but come on. Ew. Anyway, like I said, try not to think about it.
B- (1 hr., 35 min.; )