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Film Review

Everything, Everything

Directed by Stella Meghie
From: MGM, Warner Bros.
Released: 05.19.17
Review by Sherin Nicole | May 18, 2017 at 5:00 PM

Basically: The girl who can’t go anywhere falls for the boy who has to go too many places…

Maddy lives in a world filled with thousands of books but very few faces. She’s a girl in a bubble—a hermetically sealed house—that protects her from the outside world and the germs that would ravage her nearly defenseless immune system.

Olly lives in a world filled with road maps but very few homes. He is a boy on the run—but the father he’s running from is always with him—there’s no one to protect him from life inside his family and the abuse that threatens to silence him.

As if moved by the universe itself, Olly moves next door to Maddy. Together they find a safe place that is neither house nor road…but someplace deeper…perhaps deep space…in a diner with an astronaut.

Everything, Everything—the film adaptation of Nicola Yoon’s wonderful book—is a daydream. You smile through every moment. Although the movie doesn’t allow you to get to know Maddy (Amandla Stenberg), Olly (Nick Robinson), and their families (Anika Noni Rose, Ana de la Reguera) as deeply as the book did, the cast more than makes up for it. Each character establishes themselves and, no matter how much or little time they spend on screen, you feel for them. That’s important because the movie doesn’t have a lot of stakes—rather than hook you with conflict, Everything, Everything engages you with character.

Ahh, and the love story, the romance, the wooing. I sigh. Maddy and Olly’s progression is clever and surprising. The filmmakers (director Stella Meghie and writer  J. Mills Goodloe) find tricks of the imagination to bring the two characters together, even while Maddy’s illness keeps them physically apart.

Or course, as with any daydream, there comes a time when you’re startled back into reality. Here, it’s with a revelation that shakes the viewer as much as it did the reader, but it shakes Maddy’s beliefs about herself more. I can’t tell you what direction Maddy and Olly’s love finally goes in but I can tell you it feels a lot like a cross country journey…and time well spent.

In the end: Everything, Everything isn’t a movie that’s going to change your life but it is a sweet story that will make your day.

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