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Two Dramas from Alliance

Every Day (March 4/11)

Written and directed by Richard Levine, Every Day follows Liev Schreiber's Ned as he's forced to confront and deal with the various problems in his hectic life - including an ailing, cranky father-in-law (Brian Dennehy's Ernie), a demanding boss (Eddie Izzard's Garrett), an out-of-the-closet teenage son (Ezra Miller's Jonah), and a flirtatious co-worker (Carla Gugino's Robin). Despite the decidedly overstuffed nature of its narrative, Every Day generally comes off as an authentic look at the behind-the-scenes happenings within a (relatively) normal nuclear family - with the effective performances and Levine's subtle touch playing an instrumental role in establishing and sustaining the movie's down-to-earth feel. There is, however, never a point at which the viewer is wholeheartedly drawn into the proceedings, with the film's deliberate pace exacerbated by Levine's reliance on situations of a decidedly (and increasingly) tedious nature (ie Ned is tempted to cheat on his wife, Jonah is overwhelmed while visiting a gay bar, etc). It's subsequently not surprising to note that Every Day wears out its welcome long before the end credits roll, which is a shame, certainly, given the strength of the eclectic cast's ongoing efforts (with Schreiber especially good here).

out of


My Year Without Sex (March 16/11)

In My Year Without Sex, Natalie (Sacha Horler) and Ross (Matt Day) are forced to make drastic changes to their lives after Natalie almost dies of a ruptured aneurysm - with the movie subsequently detailing their day-to-day experiences over a one year period. There's little doubt that My Year Without Sex fares best in its opening hour, as writer/director Sarah Watt does a superb job of both establishing the central characters, as well as their two young children, Louis (Jonathan Segat) and Ruby (Portia Bradley), and establishing a vibe of authenticity - which does ensure that the the less-than-propulsive nature of the film's narrative is initially not as problematic as one might've feared. The pervasively watchable atmosphere persists right up until Watt begins emphasizing elements of an incongruously unpleasant nature, with the sequence in which Natalie and Ross' small dog is attacked marking a clear turning point for the film - as it does, as a result, become more and more difficult to work up any real interest or enthusiasm in the characters' downbeat exploits. By the time the tentatively upbeat conclusion rolls around, My Year Without Sex has, unfortunately, established itself as a well-meaning yet consistently underwhelming domestic drama that rarely packs the emotional punch that Watt has obviously intended.

out of

About the DVDs: Both films arrive on DVD courtesy of Alliance Films, and although Every Day boasts an anamorphically enhanced transfer, My Year Without Sex is presented with a letterboxed 4X3 image. (The latter is also missing English-language subtitles, which is certainly unacceptable in this day and age.)
© David Nusair