In Brief: Everything, Everything tries but ends up not-so-good, not-so-good
Teen romance stories must follow certain rules. First, both characters must be babes. Sometimes the female or male involved are made up to look plain but as the plot advances her beauty or his handsomeness evolves until by the climax they’re stunning.
Second, conflict must be present. In most films the girl is the conflicted person and it’s another girl in love with the guy, or the guy is a jerk and her best bud is the person the girl should be with and so on.
Everything, Everything takes a little bit different and more original approach to the dilemmas involved in teen romance.
Amandla Stenberg is Maddy. She has a rare autoimmune disease and cannot — ever — go outside. Fortunately, her mother is a doctor and set up treatment that keeps her alive. Though Maddy hates being cooped up, she understands. But Maddy is a normal teenager and when cute Olly moves in next door, the irresistible force of love starts opening dangerous doors.
Olly is done by Jurassic World’s Nick Robinson. Both Stenberg and Robinson are exceptionally charismatic and it helps writer J. Mills Goodloe (the Nicholas Sparks deadly dull flick The Best of Me) and first major movie director Stella Meghie almost pull it off.
Key word: almost.
It needs to be darker. Maddy’s controlling mom isn’t controlling or hard enough. It would have made a more interesting movie. Also, mom and the nurse can come in from the dangerous outer world and not harm the girl but Olly cannot. That’s the biggest hole of them all.
With nowhere to go and packed with flaws, Everything, Everything is so predictable and has such an awful, and expected feel-good conclusion that it undoes what could have been a much better movie.
Director: Stella Meghie
Stars: Amandla Stenberg, Nick Robinson, Anika Noni Rose, Ana de la Reguera
Rated PG-13 for mature themes. This one tries and succeeds in places but unless you’re a teen or an ultra-romantic this one ends up a bust. Give it a 2 on the Average Joe Movie 0 to 5 scale.
5 to 4 1/2: Must see on the big screen.
4 to 3 1/2: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 to 2 1/2: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 to 1: Don’t bother.
0:Speaks for itself.
Gary Wolcott has been a movie consultant for KXL since 2014. A lifelong fan of film, he’s been a film critic in radio, television and newspaper for 25-years. Wolcott catches a couple of hundred movies a year and he sees a great many of them so you don’t have to.
Got a movie suggestion or comment? Email him!