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Times of India
Madeline suffers from a rare disease of the immune system that requires her to remain indoors at all times. But when Olly moves in next door, she realizes that there’s more to the world than the glass walls that restrict her.
Here’s the thing about cliche romantic gestures: you tend to buy them (no matter how many times you’ve seen them before), if attractive teenagers are selling them to you in a feel-good romcom setting.
Everything, Everything has a bucketload of these cliches. It gives you a princess trapped in a glass (almost) castle. It gives you a wayward prince, who will rescue her. He will throw pebbles at her window, they will have their first kiss as fireworks go off in the background, they will be kept apart by the princess’s (evil) mother, and they will fight the world to be united. No surprises, no spoilers.
Maddy (Amandla Stenberg) suffers from SCID, a rare disease that makes her immune system too weak to fight bacteria and infections. She has been cooped up in her house for 17 years and only wears white clothes. Enter Olly (Nick Robinson). He decidedly wears black, likes morose books and is kind of cynical owing to his dysfunctional family.
Writer J. Mills Goodloe and director Stella Meghie spend a lot of time underlining how star-crossed Maddy and Olly are; how contradictory their lives have been. You don’t, for a second, question the fact that they’ll fall for each other.
To be cliche and yet not get corny is very difficult, but the movie achieves this feat. You root for the characters instantly; the SCID barrier only adds charm to their awkward meetings - they’re lovers who can’t touch! It’s a smooth ride.
Until one misguided turn drives the plot off a cliff. The seriousness of Maddy’s condition is moderated according to the need of the scene. The second half has a strong The Fault In Our Stars Deja Vu. And altogether too much time is spent on adventure sports in Hawaii. Go figure. A twist in the third act comes too late to save the movie from its highly predictable eventuality.
Everything, Everything certainly isn’t what epic, heart-wrenching love stories are made of, but it’ll do as a date-movie that doesn’t demand everything of you.