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A teenager who’s lived a sheltered life because she’s allergic to everything, falls for the boy who moves in next door.
Director: Stella Meghie
Writers: J. Mills Goodloe (screenplay), Nicola Yoon (based on the book by)
Stars: Amandla Stenberg, Nick Robinson, Anika Noni Rose
Review by Gilbert Seah
EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING is the kind of film that teenagers in love would flock to see. It falls in line with the most awful films of the 70’s like THE BLUE LAGOON, YOU LIGHT MY LIFE and S.W.A.L.K. Young lovers fall in love despite all odds and love conquers all. All logic should be thrown to the wind.
EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING based on the book by Nicola Yoon tells the story of Madeline Whittier (Amandla Stenberg) suffering from some immune deficiency. It can hardly be believed that a book was actually written with this storyline. Any Harlequin paperback would have sufficed and been more believable. The deficiency (referred to as SID – severe immune deficiency in the film), as explained in Maddy’s voiceover prevents her from being exposed to the outside world. She lives in a locked and sealed glass house, with only her mother (Anika Noni Rose) and angelic private nurse, Carla (Ariana Grande) (a latino for political correctness) being her only human contacts.
So what happens? She falls in love with the new neighbour, Olly (Nick Robinson), gets the courage to leave the house and lives happily ever after with no more illness. How does this state of affairs happen? If you really need to know, it is best to read a review with the spoiler than watch this totally bore of a movie. After the first 10 minutes, I was dying for the film to end. No pun intended!
Worst of all, the audience is ‘treated’ to a trip to Hawaii. Apparently Maddy is smart enough to use mother’s credit cards or hack the internet to buy plane tickets for Hawaii and her Olly. They arrive in Hawaii. Lo and behold, they are able to travel in a jeep (courtesy of credit cards) and stay in a stunning resort by the sea. They go swimming and jump off cliffs.
The story skips the details of Olly’s life. The audience sees Olly beaten up by his father. The mother finally separates and leaves with the family to NYC. How can Olly’s family afford such a beautiful home next to Maddy with no solid income?
The attempted political inter-racial romance does not work either. The kissing scenes look awkward. At least the audience is spared from any graphic sex scenes. Kissing is as far as the romance goes. Of course, there is a lot of hugging and shots of smooth teenage skin.
It would have helped if the script by J. Mills Goodloe was at least a bit funny. The only humour present is Ollie’s lame attempts to amuse Maddy through the window. His antics of dropping of cakes as a joke looks more silly than funny. The use of the astronaut as a symbol for Maddy’s seclusiveness is odd. Whenever the couple communicate by text, the film shows them in ridiculous settings, like in a library or in outer space.
One thing that one might do when watching the film is to take out paper and list all the loopholes in the story. Bring lots of paper!
EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING has absolutely nothing to offer in terms of insight into young love, the sickness or family drama. EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING is totally lame in all departments – acting, story, pacing, direction and writing.
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