Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Everything, Everything

SPOILER ALERT: Rapunzel leaves her tower.

Imaginative and sweetly tender, Everything, Everything is a young adult romance that fulfills your feel-good needs thanks to the performance of its talented leads.  The movie follows Maddy, a girl who has stayed inside her house her whole life because she has a compromised immune system - SCID, which she illustrates for us in the opening.  Then along comes the new neighbor Olly with a bundt cake and... well, you get the idea.

I thought the movie stayed true to the YA fiction genre it came from.  The characters felt like real teenagers.  Their story felt hopeful and cutesy and touching.  Example: when Olly and Maddy finally meet in person, you see subtitles of their thoughts as they awkwardly try to make conversation.  Olly: I'm more nervous than she is and she's never even left the house! Maddy: His hair could save my life.  Funniest scene in the whole movie.

Beneath my sarcastic exterior is a giant cheeseball for a heart, and that heart bawled ugly happy tears for this movie.  The actors have wonderful onscreen chemistry and a fun, flirty friendship that develops into something bold and genuine as the story progresses.  The pièce de résistance is that it's a relationship between a white guy and black girl that NO ONE questions on the basis of their race.  I need me more healthy interracial relationships like this.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Since Maddy takes architectural classes, she frequently builds models of various structures - including a 50s diner and a several-story library that she visualizes meeting Olly in as they are having their text conversations.  I loved seeing those imagined architectural spaces on screen that allow Maddy to touch and talk to Olly in a personal interaction that she desperately desires.  In and out of those spaces walks the astronaut that Maddy also puts into every model because she identifies with a man in a suit in space.  That aspect of the film was fascinating both visually and metaphorically for me.

The movie had its faults, which my mother and I discussed afterward.  Maddy's nurse Carla has a daughter, Rosa, who is briefly introduced at the beginning but does not return until the end.  We thought it would have made more sense to include more of Rosa and to have her facilitate Olly meeting Maddy at her house rather than Carla, since a teenager is more likely to take risk like that.  I also thought that we should have seen hints earlier on about Maddy's mother being controlling and overprotective of her daughter, which doesn't come to a head until the last minute.

I mentioned to my mother that I saw a lower rating for Everything, Everything on Rotten Tomatoes, and she said: "It's very much a girl movie.  Probably it was all the male reviewers who said bad things."  I haven't checked to see if her comment is true, but it's probably true in the sense that anyone who is not into somewhat sappy teenager romance won't have much interest in this movie.  If that's not your style, it's not your style.  But if it IS your style, I think watching it is worth your while.

P.S. I totally stole the idea of a spoiler header from Maddy.  She writes several blog reviews throughout the movie and always puts a funny or cryptic spoiler at the top.  Might try doing that from now on.

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