‘Everything, Everything’ falls below expectations

May 26, 2017 — by Elaine Sun

“Everything, Everything, coming soon,” I read on the ad that played before every YouTube video I watched in May.

After reading Nicola Yoon’s young adult novel “Everything, Everything,” a mediocre, typical romance story in which a boy plays easy-to-get and compliments the girl’s every move, I decided to watch the movie adaptation to compare the two. Not surprisingly, the movie proved to be mediocre too.

The movie, directed by Stella Meghie, tells the story of Maddy Whittier, played by Amandla Stenberg, who has severe combined immunodeficiency disease (SCID) and is unable to leave her sanitized house. When she meets and falls in love with Olly Bright, played by Nick Robinson, everything in her world changes. She eventually decides to risk her life for one perfect day in Hawaii with Olly.

Despite the over-the-top advertisement, with the trailer playing before YouTube videos and snapshots of Maddy and Olly appearing on my Instagram feed, the movie itself does little to fulfill the hype.

The movie is also filled with many awkward silences — sometimes, you’re just watching Maddy and Olly stare at each other for multiple seconds. Although the silences are hard to sit through, Stenberg and Robinson have good chemistry and make an unrealistic plot slightly more believable.

The movie worsens the situation by adding confusing details. In the movie, an astronaut, a minor side character in the book and a figurine in an architecture project, becomes a rather large symbol who guides Maddy along with her decisions concerning Olly. The movie tries to include scenes of Maddy becoming part of her architecture project and talking to the astronaut figurine, but this just makes the entire scene hard to distinguish from reality.

Although having some creative additions in movie adaptations can work sometimes, these strange diversions left me confused and wondering how Maddy had suddenly teleported from her room into a restaurant.

On the other hand, the movie does have some moments that could never be conveyed in the book such as the cutscene in which Maddy jumps into the ocean from a cliff when she can’t swim and when she becomes sick in Hawaii. These scenes add excitement that the movie would otherwise not have.

Still, “Everything, Everything” is ultimately a failure. Although the acting and overall production of the movie are fine, the mediocre plot doesn’t work well enough to be adapted into a movie. After seeing various forms of its advertisement multiple times in the last month, I think the real praise for this film should go to the movie’s publicist, not the director.