Everything, Everything – Film Review by Frank L
Directed by Stella Meghie
Writers: J. Mills Goodloe (screenplay), Nicola Yoon (based on the book by)
Stars: Amandla Stenberg, Nick Robinson, Anika Noni Rose
Based on the novel by Nicola Yoon, Everything Everything uses one of the most well-worn love story themes that of falling in love with the boy/girl next door. Here the star struck lovers are African-American Maddy (Amandla Stenberg) and Caucasian blonde-haired Olly (Nick Robinson). Both of them are good looking, but there is a problem because Maddy cannot leave her house as she suffers from SCID disease which means she has no immune system. Her physician mother Pauline (Anika Noni Rose) has built for her a hermetically sealed house in which everything that enters is radiated to kill off infections. The house has been constructed of a mass of glass as a result when Olly arrives next door she can see him and he can see her. But they, of course, cannot meet. However with modern technology they can text.
Maddy, in her antiseptic environment, has managed to develop some interests and dreams which include her floating in a blue, blue ocean. Olly, poor thing, seems to have only one interest and that is Maddy’s happiness. What interested him before he moved in next door, history does not relate. His family life is not happy as his father is abusive with a drink problem. It is inevitable that they must meet which eventually they do. But more surprisingly they do in order to elope on a money-no-object holiday to Hawaii as the ocean there is suitably blue to answer Maddy’s dreams. Olly really is the perfect boyfriend for Maddy.
From this point, a more everyday theme is belatedly introduced into the story. Unfortunately it rather upends the story. If it had played a more prominent role in the story or alluded to it in some way, the film would have had a great deal more substance as the new theme is far more prevalent in society than the exceedingly rare disease known as SCID.
The love story between Olly and Maddy may well appeal to people in their teenage years. This reviewer is far from that time. It may also appeal to those who wish to have a glimpse of either a magnificent modern house constructed with loads of glass in Los Angeles or a luxurious beach holiday in Hawaii; otherwise it is best avoided.