Love is in the air Friday, May 19 2017 with director Stella Meghie’s Everything, Everything, based on Nicola Yoon’s novel with the same title.
This teen romance takes the genre to a new level, with believable acting, that can attract and maintain a mature audience, while fresh enough to captivate young adults.
The movie follows the unlikely story of Maddy Whittier (Amandala Stenberg), an 18-year old who suffers from SCID (severe combined immunodeficiency disorder), which forces her to live in the protection of a hermetically sealed environment. She daydreams about the scent of fresh air, the sun kissing her face, and the waves lapping against her feet; all experiences she has never had.
Her life is routine: online classes, support group via Skype, books, and daily vitals checkup. One maybe reminded of Disney’s Rapunzel, “stuck in the same place I’ve always been.” The amount of people she engages in her real-world is limited to her mother, her nurse, and her nurse’s daughter.
Stenberg, whom some may recognize from The Hunger Games, as Rue, brings the same cleverness and silliness to this character. Although she adds a beautiful mixture of wisdom and naivety one would expect from a bubble girl. The gift audiences are given in watching Maddy live in a stifled environment is her alluring imagination.
With daydreams of vast seas, she transforms every situation into a bright technicolor glow that can only come from someone who truly hungers to appreciate the world around them. Despite having such a vibrant internal life, at first glance, people would only see the sterile appearance of uniformed t-shirt and jeans accompanied with quiet eyes.
Just as Maddy’s yearning for stimulation from the outside world grows, she finds herself falling for the pivotal boy next door, Olly Bright (Nick Robinson). The instant connection between the two is enticing thanks to a hilarious scene involving a bundt cake. This film embraces Maddy’s imagination with her virtual conversations with Olly, giving viewers more hilariously sweet and endearing moments of connectivity.
Yes this movie is a romance based around young love, and yes it’s a rather unreal plot, but this picture has created the balance between ridiculous sloppy love story and heart wrenching tragic romance. This is possible because of the source material, a young adult novel, which utilizes vibrant language to describe longing and desire, as well as disappointment and frustration. All these emotions, and more, can be found in Everything, Everything.
Fans of the novel may enjoy tracing the metaphors and symbolism throughout the movie. From a sealed-off house representative of unspoken hopes, to the mod-style primary color-blocking of Maddy’s outfits as she learns to show her true self.
The realism found in this feature, which is often lacking in love stories, is the evolution of the relationship. Although the two lock eyes, it’s attraction and interest at first sight, not love. Instead their feelings for each other grow from their lack of ability to touch one another. They share thoughts, opinions, dreams, and wishes from each other’s windows.
The honest performance of Stenberg and Robinson provide young love that is present-tense without shoving it into the public’s faces. Whether a fan of the book or looking for a sweet romance coupled with silliness and dynamically vivid cinematographer, Everything, Everything maybe the perfect choice.