Young Love is “Everything Everything”
By Skip Sheffield
“Everything Everything” is a young adult romantic movie based on the 2015 young adult novel of the same name by Nicola Yoon.
Director Stella Meghie has cast two exceptionally attractive leads: Amandla Stenberg as Maddy Whittier, a 17-year-old girl who has severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) and is allergic to everything, and Nick Robinson as Olly Bright, the proverbial boy next door.
Maddy has been a virtual prisoner in her own home due to her over-protective mother, Pauline (Anika Noni Rose). Pauline is either a nurse or a doctor. She must be a doctor and a well-paid one at that, because her house is an amazing dream pad in pricey Los Angeles. The house has been customized with sliding glass doors and many windows that enable Maddy to see the world outside.
Believability is not a strong suit of “Everything Everything.” Maddy and Olly, who has an abusive, alcoholic father, establish an e-mail correspondence, and with the secret cooperation of Maddy’s nurse Carla (Ana de la Reguera), they finally meet in Maddy’s house. When Pauline learns her daughter has been secretly meeting the boy next door, she angrily fires Carla and hires a severe nurse Maddy calls Nurse Ratched.
What’s a girl to do? In Maddy’s case it is flee to Hawaii where she enjoys a few idyllic days with Olly. Don’t ask how they afford all this, because this is a romantic fantasy.
There is a plot turn and a final reveal, which we won’t. As a date flick, “Everything Everything” is pretty good for the young and gullible. It’s harmless fizzy fun far removed from the harsh reality of everyday life.