When I first heard about a quirky new movie (adapted from a YA novel by Nicola Yoon) about a teenage girl who had never been outside because of her sickness — until a cute boy moved in next door, making her want to experience "everything, everything" — I'll admit that I thought it too Bubble Boy meets The Fault in Our Stars. No, thanks. Then the trailer came out and my heart literally did a throwback on it's own, giving me 2012, Rue vibes. This prompted me to read the book. Now a fully converted enthusiast, here are a couple of reasons why Everything, Everything was, well, everything.
Everything, Everything stars Amandla Stenberg (again, a moment of silence for Rue) and Nick Robinson, who are such a breath of fresh air to watch. Kudos to the casting directors for not casting the Jennifer Lawrences and the Shailene Woodleys for yet another teen romance in this decade. Stenberg plays teenage girl Maddy Whittier, who suffers from the illness SCID, (Severe Combined Immune Deficiency) causing her to be trapped inside her home for 18 years.
That is, until she meets new boy next door Olly (played by Nick Robinson), who brings her the sense of adventure she longs for. Both Stenberg and Robinson delivered solid, unique, performances that conveyed a touching, yet realistically awkward interpretation of falling in love as a teenager.
The Visual Scenery
Director Stella Meghie truly conveyed the quirkiness of the book by incorporating touches of magical realism in order to place an emphasis on Maddy's wild imagination. Whereas in the book Maddy's relationship with Olly is shown through social media and emails, Meghie brilliantly turns their back and forth banter (which may not have translated onto screen as well) into an imaginative world of communication for the two characters.
I mean, from floating in space to drinking milkshakes in a dinner, Maddy and Olly's world of romance seems like the ultimate playground for love. Also, who could ignore the dream-like shots of Hawaii or the stunning scenery of Maddy's elaborate and very minimalistic LA home?
The Normalization Of Diversity
Another breath of fresh air was the complete normalization of racial diversity in the movie, without race being a topic of discussion. Don't get me wrong, 12 Years a Slave was rad, and 42 wasn't bad either, but it is equally as rad to see representation in Hollywood (as leads) without it being a biopic or hold some sort of historical significance. The thing is, there is a wide variety of people of color that exist outside the stereotypical norms that pervade society, and movies like these tell them that they are also capable of vulnerability, deserving of love, and deserving of wild adventures (in Maddy's case, perceptible to illness — I don't know if that's a positive.)
Oh, and can I just say that Amandla Stenberg's curly 'fro throughout the movie gave me life itself?
The combination of creative women behind the scenes, including the contributions of fresh-faced author Nicola Yoon (whose first book, Everything, Everything first shot straight to the top of the New York Best Sellers List in 2015) gave the movie the splash of color it needed (figuratively and literally!). The choice of cool, quirky music by Kaylani, Jose Gonzalez, and Skylar Stecker — to name a few — created a distinguished feel and set the movie apart.
"The feels" is described by the Urban Dictionary as a sensation generally to do with extreme emotion towards something, leaving you exclaiming "UGH, THE FEELS." No matter what age, Everything, Everything will leave you with the feels. The characterization and storyline will leave one feeling like they could be as spontaneous as Maddy and Olly, despite any setbacks. Overall? I say, thumbs up to the all-around positive vibes from this cool, new teen romance.
What did you think of Everything, Everything?