Everything, Everything is a 2017 American romantic drama film directed by Stella Meghiea and written by J. Mills Goodloe, based on Nicola Yoon’s 2015 novel of the same name. The film was produced by Elysa Dutton and Leslie Morgenstein and stars Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson and follows a young woman named Maddy (Stenberg) who has a serious medical condition that prevents her from leaving her home, and her neighbor Olly (Robinson), who wants to help her experience life and they begin falling in love.
I suppose I will start with the most obvious praise this film deserves; The performances by both Stenberg and Robinson are grounded in that this story feels remarkably believable. Maddy’s condition is an obvious centerpoint of their relationship, but this film is void of melodramatics and doesn't depend on exaggerated interactions to make the audience understand how these two young adults feel about one another.
Regardless, I would have liked to have seen more palpable anxiety on Maddie's part regarding her condition and the constraints related to it because at times her casual nature seems to ultimately downplay the severity of it (hold this thought). It is possible that her disposition is a result of her being “used” to the lifestyle imposed upon her, but that doesn’t explain the nature in which other characters project their worries about her safety on to her during moments where it seems unnecessary and flippant.
It only makes sense that this is based off of the book, and the good news is that this movie may even be better than the novel is based off of. The scenes in which characters are using Electronics to communicate with one another or brought to life in a way that is visually appealing and speaks to the amount of imagination and creativity that Maddy is capable of. In addition to this, brief moments are included in the film that are not in the book when we would absolutely expect them to be - like the scene when Olly tapes bunch of pictures of the ocean to Maddy’s - and this adds an ultimately more romantic and chivalrous aura to their relationship. This ultimately fits the pacing of their relationship developing that the movie intends to embrace, and I applaud Meghiea for making artistic changes that ultimately tell a more refined story in a limited amount of time.
Despite the compliments that can be awarded to ‘Everything, Everything’ I honestly felt rather angry when I was done watching it. I can only say this as someone that doesn't have a chronic illness that affects my life in the same way that Maddy’s does, but the plot twist and the conclusion ultimately feels disrespectful to people that are able to relate to her as a character. More than that, all I can say is that the twisted attempt to make the overall plot in some ways related to a gesture of love following a traumatic event is perhaps even more disrespectful. I had planned on taking this anger out on my movie review and giving this a one or two star, but the sad truth is that this film is ultimately well done and is sadly really close to its source material. I have decided to redirect my energy and just announce in the most polite way possible: The story this movie is based off of SUCKS.
I can’t say I like this movie enough to enthusiastically recommend it, because my conscience doesn’t allow me to.
I will say, however, this is a most impressively coordinated train wreck.