Subscribe for 33¢ / day
"Every Day"

Angourie Rice and Justice Smith star in "Every Day."

Orion Pictures

Well, here’s something you don’t see every day: A fantasy-based teen romance.

Based on David Levithan's young-adult novel, “Every Day” has an unusual theme: A teenager girl falls in love with a personality, or spirit, that calls itself “A” and who changes bodies, well, every day.

OK, I admit that sounds like a lot to digest. If this sort of setup isn’t your thing, you’ve been warned. But if you approach the film with an open mind, you’ll find that it raises some surprisingly insightful questions about love and also the human condition.

Angourie Rice (“The Beguiled”) stars as Rhiannon, a high-school girl who unknowingly comes in contact with “A” when it inhabits the body of her boyfriend Justin (Justice Smith, “Paper Towns”). She is thrilled to spend such a wonderful day with her boyfriend, and can’t understand what has happened later when he says he has no memory of their day together.

When “A” reveals itself, it explains that it inhabits a different body every 24 hours, always someone in the general vicinity and always someone of the same age. “A” never has fallen in love before, but feels she/he can tell Rhiannon exactly what’s going on.

And so Rhiannon begins to reciprocate “A’s” love, regardless of the gender or race that “A” inhabits at the moment.

This reminds me a great deal of a too-little-seen 1992 movie called “Prelude to a Kiss,” in which a young person inhabits the body of an older person of the opposite gender. If that happened to your partner, would you still continue to love her or him, regardless of age or gender?

Rhiannon’s attempt to keep the romance going causes family issues in her own household, not to mention in the homes of the people who are the “hosts” of her beloved.

The film accomplishes a noteworthy achievement: Rhiannon always has chemistry with the men and women whom “A” inhabits. This partly because of the fine acting and partly because of clever dialogue. It always works. These are young performers who, as rising stars, are already capable and sure to inhabit the big screen more often as the years go by.

The likeable Rice carries this film all the way through as a bright, complex teenager who, with the help of “A,” makes some mature discoveries about life and love.

This isn’t for everyone — some audiences will find it too far-fetched. But it will reward those who want to ponder the questions the story asks and embrace a new perspective about love.