Everything, Everything

Are you a teenage girl? Or perhaps you simply have the taste in movies of one (Twilight, The Fault In Our Stars, Before I Fall)? If so, you can confidently add this movie to your lineup. For everyone else: keep moving.

It ain’t bad, it’s just not that good. It’s about a young woman, Maddy (Amandla Stenberg), who has SCID, a disease that basically renders her immune system void. She has to stay in her sterile home just to stay alive. She has never left it. It’s a sad and sheltered existence without outside contact except for her mother and her nurse, Carla, and what she can observe from her window. When a cute boy (Olly, Nick Robinson) moves in next door, it widens her world by a tiny margin, but only makes her feel more keenly for what she’s missing.

MV5BMTU5ODEzNTI4N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODU1MTQzMjI@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1498,1000_AL_Their love story unfolds slowly, as it must when one person is physically removed from the other. In the novel they communicate by text or instant messaging. To make that play a little less boring on screen, director Stella Meghie imagines them within the architectural models that Maddy’s always working on. It’s a device that works while still reminding us that these conversations don’t actually take place in a face-to-face reality. Still, it’s a talk-heavy, plot-light movie that doesn’t move around too much. If you aren’t swooning over Olly’s too-long-locks, you’re probably going to find this long.

As you might guess, this relationship prompts Maddy to consider going outside for the first time in her life. She’ll be risking her tenuous health and the sharp disapproval of her overprotective mother. But what else is young love for, if not rebellion?

Anyway. As you know, Hollywood only thinks teenagers are good for two things: romance with vampires, and death. Or at least they’re only profitable doing one of those two MV5BM2UwNDlhNmUtOWRiYi00MzgzLWFiMzEtMDE2MWE2NWY0MzMxXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTkxOTY3MDY@._V1_things. Amandla Stenberg is very charming as Maddy, the brave, beautiful, but socially awkward girl next door trapped in a glass castle. She succumbs to the kind of romantic gestures no teenage boy would be caught doing and only a young-adult novelist could dream up. There’s some major eye-rolling to be had in this movie, and it starts rather early, when Olly first appears in his driveway, tossing his luscious locks in the unfiltered sunlight, shooting his pretty neighbour a cocksure grin while showing off on his skateboard. I was so sure he was about to eat it, and truthfully hoping he would, that it set a really weird tone to the movie for me. I guess my lusty teenage days are too far behind me. Your enjoyment of this movie will depend on the calculation between yourself and your own misspent youth.

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20 thoughts on “Everything, Everything

  1. Liz A.

    I do have the taste of a teenage girl, but I think I’ll give this a skip. I’m not fond of beautiful, sick kids. Although, I can see the appeal. It might have tempted me a few years ago.

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  2. Gabe Burkhardt

    I feel like I have to say this out loud (if only to reassure myself). I’m NOT a teenage girl. I’m NOT 😉 However, this movie sounds like the feminine response to “the space between us.” And I think I’m gonna have to side with fragglerocking above. It’s time for the next marvel movie (or at least the latest Pirates anthology.

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  3. Isey

    Great quote: “Hollywood only thinks teenagers are good for two things: romance with vampires, and death”

    You forgot the third option, dying whilst romancing vampires. The “both”.

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  4. Brittani

    There was a split second when watching the trailer that I thought “aww, that looks sort of sweet” but the I snapped out of it when my husband started laughing at it. I’d maybe watch it if it came on HBO or something. I thought Amandla was very good as Rue in The Hunger Games.

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    1. Jay Post author

      Did you already finish it? Had you already read it???? Whoa, Jess! I’m glad you’re at least off the Christian romance novels for a bit!

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  5. SheLikesMovies

    Ah man this sounds terrible terrible. Had to say that. But I’m not surprised. This phase of teenagers and death will eventually pass, just vampires and teens. YA is having its day and its only a matter of time before a worthwhile teen movies arrives again.

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  6. C

    I was thinking of watching this movie because the trailer made it look really good, thanks for the review. I think I’ll steer clear lol

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  7. Pingback: Review: Everything, Everything – Not Bowing to our Inner Temptations​

  8. dweezer19

    I haven’t seen it yet but I agree. After all the movies I have seen the premise is recognizable. But then, with all the angst teens have, this is a nice moment of escape and dreaming for them. I do think there are enough movies about the reality of how many boys think and truly act out there, equally as slanted. I will catch it when it hits cable.

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