16-year-old Rhiannon falls in love with a spirit who wakes up every morning in a different teen body. Based on David Levithan’s best-selling novel, this teen-romance mixes the fantasy elements bringing a modern update to the genre.
This sounded like a Black Mirror episode at first, I could see this blend in well with some dystopian twist. When you explain this concept to peers, I’m sure the sceptical reaction is usually a slow nod. The concept of a spirit that bounces from body to body each morning and how that could work intrigued me first, to create this world in a teen-flick is all the more interesting.
‘A’ – the spirit – wakes up in the body of Justin (Justin Smith), bemused he looks around to try and familiarise his surroundings and waits for his mum to call out so he knows his identity. Sheepishly he follows his route to school where we meet Rhiannon (Angourie Rice).
The pair decide to run away for the rest of the day, Rhiannon plays a song in the car and they share a sing-a-long – it’s a teenage fantasy to just drive away with their loved one to a romantic spot, but it’s not even cheesy, it did fill me with a couple of butterflies only because ‘Justin’ tells her that every day cannot be like this so let’s enjoy this moment – not so blunt but you get the message. When Rhiannon returns to school, Justin is back to his usual self and he returned to his douchey self, I turned into that mother-like ‘Why are you with this guy!’ mode. So where was ‘A’?
It kicks off from there with ‘A’ habiting in the body of another male teenager, to a blind teenager, to a female teenager. Each transformation brings them closer Rhiannon who starts to fall in love.
First of all, I give credit to fluidity as each performer who inhabits the character of ‘A’ do a fantastic job. ‘A’ becomes that positive energy in all of the characters even if it’s just for a day, that energy is shared with Rhiannon which we learn starts off as a timid character, even though she shares the high-school lifestyle of partying and having a best gal pal, it’s prominent that she blends into the background. It takes the familiar ‘rommy-movie-moments’ and fleshes them out throughout the movie so there’s still that nostalgic buzz for any 90’s millennial-bloomer-baby or whatever the term is, could enjoy.
There are moments that leave you giggling, Rhiannon does reflect on how bouncing between relationships might give her a reputation around the school which did leave me snickering a little. Another how Justin introduces his true identity is quite a chuckle as it reminded me of the pretty-but-douchey personas in school and a moment where ‘A’s characters get a solemn moment with Rhiannon interrupted by his mother. These moments really bring the character to life all the while keeping you on a feel-good rollercoaster of emotion.
This definitely coincides with the ‘Teen Flicks to Watch’ category, right there with Breakfast Club, Loser, Fault in Our Stars. Every day is a beautiful telling of the idea of loving and loosing, discovering that loving a different gender doesn’t matter, it also reflects on how teenagers nowadays are maturing to understand love, loss and independence.
The book stretches all the details too, I encourage you to read the books before the film!