#REVIEW: “EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING”
Review by Amanda Gilmore for Mr. Will Wong
Everything, Everything is unique from other illness driven teen romance films.
18-year-old Maddy (Amandla Stenberg) has never left her house. When she was a baby her doctor, who is also her mother, diagnosed her with SCID (severe combined immunodeficiency). People who suffer from SCID usually die during the early years of her life. But Maddy has survived because her mother has built their home to protect her from the contaminates outside. Maddy has been content with never experiencing the world until Olly (Nick Robinson) moves in next door. As the two begin to fall in love Maddy questions how much of a life she has lived having never stepped outside. She is willing to risk everything, including her life, to experience the world and love.
Stenberg captures a quiet and loud Maddy by using a small voice and cautious movements combined with expressive eyes and smile. Where Stenberg shines brightest is when Maddy sees the world for the first time. Stenberg witnesses trees, roads, cars, noises and even the breeze on her face as if it’s the first time she’s every experienced them. Robinson is able to make the unrealistically perfect boyfriend that Olly is, believable. He achieves this by delivering overly romantic lines and making them sound like he means every word. He also uses his reactions so what Maddy tells him to speak volumes of the love he has for her. Stenberg and Robinson have magnetic chemistry on screen which makes the romantic storyline believable.
The more memorable moments of the Film happen when the audience is taken into Maddy‘s imagination. When Maddy text messages Olly, Director Stella Meghie places the two physically in front of each other on screen. This invites the audience into Maddy’s thoughts and feelings about Olly, produces the most endearing dialogue, and shows off Stenberg and Robinson’s chemistry. Meghie’s use of Maddy’s imagination also creates an entertainment factor to the text messages that could have easily became boring to the audience.
Overall, Everything, Everything has great performances and chemistry from its leads. There is a unique approach to the directing and a twist at the end that separates it from other teen romance films. But what Everything, Everything lacks is a strong script. Throughout the Film there are plot holes that never seem to get filled-in. It’s a Movie teens will enjoy and all romantics at heart.
Warner Bros. Pictures Canada release EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING Friday, May 19, 2017.