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Review: “Every Day,” the same story.

Review: “Every Day,” the same story. (photo)

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Reviewed at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival.

Ironically, there’s something bold when making a film about an unexceptional life, something that almost dares you as an audience to imagine other stories that are happening beyond the scope of your put-upon protagonist. In “Every Day,” I found myself wondering about the backstory of Carla Gugino’s Robin, a sexy producer of a risqué TV show called “Mercy Medical” who thrives on a diet of sushi (“brain food”) and casual drug use and lives in a glass-encased loft that overlooks the city.

Sadly, Robin isn’t the main character of the film, the feature debut of former “Nip/Tuck” scribe Richard Levine’s — Ned (Liev Schreiber) is, and he’s equally enthralled with Robin’s decadent lifestyle, exclaiming as he treads water in her Olympic-sized pool, “I am now officially covered in your life.” Oh, if only.

Despite the fact that both seem to be on similar financial footing as writers on the same TV show, Ned is forced to dry off and trudge back to his home in the ‘burbs where his wife (Helen Hunt) silently sobs and stews over taking care of her infirm and verbally abusive father (Brian Dennehy), his teenage son’s (Ezra Miller) burgeoning homosexuality is giving him headaches, and his younger son (Skyler Fortgang) is constantly asking about all the colorful language being thrown around the house.

There isn’t much more to the film than that, which is both its strength and its weakness. Levine’s obviously put his heart into this and has an ear for lived-in dialogue, but it feels like Schreiber’s considerable gravitas is wasted on indifferent bickering with his wife, as he floats through life unwilling to pick a fight with anyone. Such ambivalence appears to extend to his entire brood, who accept their roles within the family without much quibbling, at least externally.

That could be considered the point of “Every Day” — certainly, Gugino’s temptress is there to shake Ned out of the stupor of domestic routine and introduce him to the otherworldly delights that he’s missed, but as a director, Levine fails at translating that into dramatic tension. When Levine toys with the idea the family is somehow cursed — Dennehy’s cranky grandfather imparts a diagnosis from a former psychiatrist who said, “Happiness, given my family’s history, was an unrealistic expectation,” we’re supposed to disagree as tears well up in his daughter’s eyes, but we don’t, since no one seems to want to change their fate.

04242010_EveryDay2.jpgFortunately for the crowd gathered at the film’s world premiere at the BMCC Performing Arts Center, the film’s sedateness didn’t carry over into the lively post-screening Q & A where an eclectic group of audience interrogators brought out some candidness from the cast and crew. A pre-teen boy asked Miller, “Are you really gay [as he is in the film]? Because my sister likes you.” (In response, a poised Miller was unfazed, saying “I’m straight, but not narrow. And I have a girlfriend.”) Likewise, when Hunt began praising her co-star Dennehy by saying, “I’ve known him since I was 17,” Dennehy quickly implored the audience, “Don’t jump to any conclusions!”

The veteran actor noted it was the first time he saw the film and said he was “very impressed,” probably in no small part because the film was shot in a mere 23 days on a shoestring budget; after a man with imperfect English asked an odd question about the choice of cremation in a particular scene, Levine killed with a faux-desperate line, “Because we didn’t have enough money for a casket.”

Schreiber, acknowledging his wife Naomi Watts in the audience, said he agreed with the missus’ observation that the heart of Levine’s script was what drew him to the film as well as the chance to play a father, but added, “it’s a simple story and simple stories are often overlooked.” The unfortunate part of “Every Day” is it doesn’t do enough to stand out.

“Every Day” is currently without U.S. distribution.

[Photos: “Every Day,” Ambush Entertainment, 2010]

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

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Cancel it!

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Forgotten America

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Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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