Everything Everything

Starring: Amandla Stenberg, Nick Robinson, Anika Noni Rose, Ana de la Reguera
Directed By: Stella Meghie

Plot: Maddy (Stenberg) has lived her whole life within the confines of her house because she has a rare immunodeficiency disorder. If she gets even a little bacteria, she could die. Her mom (Rose) has kept her safe all these years. All this changes when Olly (Robinson) moves in next door, and the two fall in love. This movie exists because you went and saw The Fault In Our Stars and Me Before You.

What Works: I didn’t hate it, but as far as whether or not it compares to its predecessors, it doesn’t. I actually like Robinson and Stenberg as actors. I was a bit surprised by the ending of this film, considering the films it seems to be inspired by. In many ways, I prefer this ending to the ending I assumed I was getting. I also applaud the directors efforts in actually staging the texting/messaging sequences so that we’re not just reading endless amounts of text.

What Doesn’t Work: I like the actors, but they have no chemistry. The film is poorly written enough to make their characters rather paper thin. Olly seems to love the girl next door almost immediately. Even before we realize they’ve even made contact. We learn very little about Olly, with a subplot about an abusive parent being a substitute for actual character development. The only character who actually progresses at all is Maddie. And apparently, without Olly as a catalyst, Maddie’s life would have remained incredibly boring. So much for girl power. Then again, Olly isn’t so much a character as he is a human plot device, used to push Maddy where the story needs her to go. The weak coffee shop score also didn’t do the film any favors. I expected more from Everything Everything, but instead I got a really bland film with two actors I like, that have no chemistry together, and are stuck in a poorly written story with no character development and elevator music standing in for an actual film score. To be honest, I’m quite surprised I stayed awake the whole time.

Final Word: Though there are some creative directorial choices, and the film is somehow moderately watchable, you’ll totally forget you ever saw this film. There’s nothing memorable here about the story, the performances, or anything else. It masquerades as everything, when really it is nothing at all. All I really wanted was something, something. Just like the last film I reviewed, Alien Covenant, this film gets an even lower mark because of the genre it claims to be in, yet fails to deliver. Where Alien Covenant lacked in actual suspense or terror, Everything Everything lacks in the romance department. It lets the audience down by underdeveloping the characters, Olly in particular. Instead of benig one of the great romantic couples of the year, they come off more as acquaintences. Not what you want from a romantic drama, and certainly the opposite of The Fault In Our Stars and Me Before You, which developed both their male and female leads.

Final Grade: C-

Final Grade: C-

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