After discovering that the new romance/drama film of the season casted the gifted Amandla Stenberg as the lead role, Everything, Everything became a must-see on my movie list. On top of the pleasant choice of actors, a Black woman, Stella Meghie, directed the movie. It was bittersweet to read that Meghie is one of only 16 female filmmakers to have a studio-backed film in theaters in 2017 (Penske Business Media). Based on the debut young adult novel by author Nicola Yoon, Everything, Everything tells the story of Madeline Whittier, a young girl with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID), coming of age.
Maddy describes her condition in the book as being “allergic to the world.” This immune system deficiency allows small viruses and bacteria to cause life-threatening infections in the body. Because of this, Maddy has not left her house for the past 17 years. What is more is that only three people are to come in contact with Maddy: her mother, her nurse Carla, and her friend Rosa. Although Maddy’s situation is not ideal, she is content with her life. This all shifts when a charming boy moves next door.
The movie itself was a bit anticlimactic, yet it did not help that I already knew the plot from the novel. The climax was never that suspenseful to begin with. Overall, the movie did not completely disappoint. The storyline is entertaining, and the actors were ideal for their roles, especially Stenberg. She tells The Los Angeles Times that after studying the script, she thought of “how powerful it would be to be a part of project… [that impacts] how kids are seeing relationships, interracial relationships and black girls in film.” This is exactly what the movie accomplished. Everything, Everything executes more than communicate a narrative, it portrays a reality that is not often included in modern media productions.
The costume department deserves five stars with Stenberg’s character sporting the most refreshing looks. Maddy appears in every scene as if she had just stepped out of an Urban Outfitters, but with less cultural appropriation. All of her outfits are monochrome, and each color used is done with taste and personality. I would wear any of the outfits from the movie any day.
Everything, Everything’s love story is both insightful and lighthearted. Its realistic nature gives the movie an edge in comparison to the other recently released dystopian romance movies. The movie altogether will leave you feeling positive about life.