Everything, Everything is a movie made by people who actually care. It wasn’t another cash grab taking advantage of the young adult demographic. This was a beautifully shot project that was on another level of aesthetic. The acting was endearing and the soundtrack wasn’t too obnoxious. With the recent rise in popularity in contemporary adaptations such as The Fault in Our Stars, it would stand to reason that there is a market for modern teen romance. Even more so is the attention to more complex themes and identities. Gay teens struggling through misunderstandings to POC in a role other than the supportive best friend. These portrayals are important to normalize and present a positive view on the ‘other’.
That being said, I argue that it’s far better than the book. The visual elements really carry the character’s feelings. For example, traveling through Maddy’s miniatures help convey her desire to explore a world she’s never known but has easy access to. The text graphics displaying the couple’s flirtations are mildly cringey but tolerable. The premise is unique albeit somewhat of a far reach. It doesn’t make it less entertaining and puts a fun twist on the traditional tropes of high school romance with mean girls and resident bad boy. While Olly may be somewhat of a rebel, I can safely say he would ask for consent first. I also appreciate that Everything, Everything features a black girl whose the main character. Maddy stands on her own coming to terms with finding courage to confront obstacles. In addition, the interracial coupling is quite cool considering that racism is a thing.
The biggest crutch comes from following too closely to the book’s ending. There wasn’t enough time dedicated to Maddy’s relationship with her mother which is left unresolved in both versions. If only the focus shifted from the cheesy romantic parts to strengthening other forms of love, you could say that this would have been solid. When Maddy discovers the truth, there’s little understanding and she just runs away. In this situation, I don’t think that it was the best decision and granted she’s a teenager with feelings of betrayal so rationality is difficult to grasp for anyone. Yet, I question what’s going to happen after the meltdown. It’s not satisfying nor responsible advice for those going through similar ordeals. In the end, I wouldn’t take this movie too seriously because the story is ultimately insulting in many ways. Most of which lies within its problematic deus ex machina bullshit, however, it follows a simple message of YOLO. Very 2010s but a cute motivational acronym nonetheless. Just keep in mind that chronic illness is debilitating and love isn’t a fool proof cure.