(SPOILER WARNING!!!!! This review SPOILS…everything in Everything, Everything. Proceed only if you’ve watched the film or you just don’t care. I’d recommend the latter attitude, but I shan’t dictate your viewing experiences)
Fuck this movie! Fuck it hard!
Okay, cards on the table: I have NO real legitimate issues with this movie until the final act. Does that mean it’s good beforehand? Not really. Characters have very little personality, even with the tacked-on thing with Maddy being a blog writer (huh! Loser). Which just seems to be there to just make her relatable to the target demographic of, well, young readers. She gets a better deal than the male love interest, whose characteristics as far as I can remember are ‘hair’, ‘shitty homelife’ and ‘bundt cake’. The plot is pretty pedestrian and rolls at a very predictable pace, the cinematography doesn’t even attempt to be anything other than ‘pretty’, which is a shame because distinguishing the beach location from Maddy’s house may have worked into what her character was missing being kept in all the time. Also, the way she gets the money for her Hawaii getaway is hilariously stupid.
Besides that, I do like the actress playing the lead. If you don’t recognise her, she played Rue in The Hunger Games, and has a lot of screen presence and charisma. I also really like Anika Noni Rose, who plays Maddy’s mother. I liked the device they used to shoot the online discussions. Film has difficulty displaying text conversations, and just having them be in a fantasy room together while the actors read out what they’re typing is both visually clever, allows the actors to bounce off each other and keeps our leads not being separate for too long. It’s actually a shame they don’t stay apart longer in the story in order to play with this device, though I don’t trust in this movie’s creativity enough that they’d do much with it.
So yeah. Boring, tepid love story with the medical disorder angle, not in my target demographic. I dig it. Then we get that twist; Maddie doesn’t have SCID. Her getting ill when she’s away is due to her weakened immune system because of being trapped inside, and she’s been living under her mother delusion brought on by a streak of overprotection after she lost her husband and son in a car crash.
I mean, ignoring a few plot holes this opens up (I know Maddy’s mother is a doctor, and she came to the initial conclusion due to doctors not being able to figure out a sickness she got when she was younger, but did they get NO OTHER medical opinion in 18 years?! How was she able to afford a medically secured home, house nurse, decontamination front, all this shit on a single parent’s salary even if she’s a doctor? I don’t see her getting state subsidies if, by the movie’s implication, Maddy has never gotten any other check-up or test or anything), this is a monstrously cruel thing to do. And they try to make the mother look sympathetic in this?! Losing the rest of her family is no excuse for what she put her daughter through!
On top of all this, using a pretty serious genetic disorder to be the crux for a shitty teen love story, only to write it off as a lazy cop out to allow our leads to come together, is an incredibly insulting thing to write! It must suck having this condition that pretty much dictates how you live every aspect of your life be used as a plot device wiped away at the convenience of the writer. It’s shitty writing AND it’s incredibly insulting! It bothers me even more as this movie is targeted at younger people. No one should give this dishonest, terrible attempt at a contrived melodramatic story using an actual illness any time of day. Fuck off!
I mean, it’s weird that we’re using a lot of illnesses, disabilities and social/medical disorders in our romantic films, right? I mean, damn, I wonder if there’s any that’s worse than thi-
*cracks knuckles* Hello, you…
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