Movie Review: Everything, Everything is Ever Sweet

Movie Review: Everything, Everything is Ever Sweet
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About the Author

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins is a thespian and performer who has worked with theatre, film, and TV across Ontario. He comes from Campbellton, NB, and has lived in North Oakville nearly 20 years. Currently, he studies Journalism at Sheridan College. Twitter: @MrTyCollins

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Everything on screen is pleasant and cute, and nearly everything on screen is smarter than it seems. At the end of the day, everything in Everything, Everything is almost enough to make a perfectly well-rounded young romance film.

Is everything making sense so far?

The soothing sentimental tone is by far the strongest part. Audiences may be caught off guard by the very inviting, pleasant feelings right from the start because it’s so rare in “teenager movies.” This is a gentle love story with just enough Hollywood flair to justify being on a big screen, and it’s a welcome change.

How refreshing is it to have a calm story that plays so well with its earnest cast? I can’t remember the last time I left the theatre so relaxed. While there’s interesting action and plot unfolding, the impact as a viewer is so serene you might forget you’re in a cinema and think you stepped into a day spa. (It’s a lot more entertaining than it sounds.)

Based on the acclaimed novel by Nicola Yoon, the plot surrounds Maddy (Amandla Stenberg) on her 18th birthday, sad because a rare disease in her immune system keeps her trapped in her California home. When a new boy (Nick Robinson) moves next door, she finds new dreams and aspirations to meet him and explore the outside world.

This is love without petty Facebook drama and online social nonsense. Sure the characters are texting, but they also call and actually look at each while doing so. The unique conflict in this story is both effective and compelling, particularly in a genre where it’s so hard to have a new, interesting problem. Illness in love isn’t new – but forbidden love in a bubble has never been this sweet.

Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Stenberg and Robinson are wildly engaging as the sharp teenage lovebirds. Both of them exude such sincerity and warmth it’s impossible not to be rooting for them. Sometimes their luck seems extravagant, but they act everything with charm to spare.

I applaud the directors and producers for casting an interracial couple in a story that has nothing to do on the subject of race. This isn’t guilt-fueled colour-blind casting; this is a rare, important example of colour-aware casting.

Each of the characters fashion choices are optimistically poetic, and reflect this harmony – notice the African-American girl wearing all white and the caucasian boy wearing all black. They’re supposed to reflect her (aspired) pristine health and his macabre, moody aura, but their vital secondary purpose should be commended.

The only evident blemish comes late in the film’s final act. The annoying, unnecessary twist is almost off-putting to the good nature the filmmakers had developed so far. Thankfully, it’s over as fast as it occurred. And aside from the late movie wild card, it’s tough to hate anything you’re watching on screen.

With so much subdued positivity, Everything, Everything is a great choice for audiences who typically back at the usual busyness and intensity most movies seem to carry nowadays. If you’re looking for a movie that’s simple, calm, and charged with soothing entertainment, this has everything you ever hope for

Everything, Everything
2 1/2 out of 4 stars

PG, 97 minutes. Romance.
Directed by Stella Meghie.
Starring Amandla Stenberg, Nick Robinson and Anika Noni Rose.
Now Playing at Cineplex Winston Churchill and Cineplex Oakville & VIP.

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