There’s a new fad sweeping the nation. It’s called Sick-Lit. Have you heard of it? If not, it’s about a number of emotional and often realistic young adult fiction centered around sick people – often deadly diseases like cancer or in the case of Everything, Everything, a rare disease where you’re basically allergic to the world outside, so you can’t leave the house. What happens, though, when you start falling for someone on the outside…wouldn’t it be a little complicated for you to be together when the other person lives in a contaminated world? Let’s talk about the plot – which is essentially that.
A 17 year old girl named Madeline Whittier has a rare disease that causes her to have to stay indoors 24/7 with her filtered air. Her whole life is basically books, her mom, and Carla (her nurse). One day, a moving truck pulls in next door. There she sees Olly. Olly Bright is Maddy’s new neighbor. They get to know each other through emails. The more they get to know each other, the more they fall in love. Olly starts to make Maddy realize that she isn’t really living. This starts the adventures of Maddy’s new life. – IMDb
There’s honestly some controversy surrounding sick-lit. Things like glorifying diseases like cancer and depression and even suicide. Here’s what I have to say to that: you can’t make everyone happy. There will always be someone mad about something – you’ve just got to pick and choose who you listen to. Personally, I understand the direction in YA. It’s basically the new fad, moving from the dystopia/apocalypse sub-genre – which means we have a little bit of originality on the rise – and a potential in different areas. This film surprised me in ways I never really thought it would – mostly in the chemistry between our two leads – it was extraordinary.
Let’s dive a little deeper into that, though, and break down Everything, Everything to interpret the stars.
PEOPLE SCORE – 10/10
Acting – 2|Characters – 2|Casting – 2|Importance – 2|Chemistry – 2
As with any good romantic drama, you need the people category to be scored highly, if not perfectly. Everything, Everything scored a perfect 10 in this category. The acting was full of emotions that twist and turn, but most importantly, any audience could connect with. When it comes to the characters, there’s not many of them, but I think they were all pretty memorable – even the ones not in love. Casting-wise, I wasn’t sure how it would all play out before watching it, but I now feel as if no one could play these roles better than who we have in front of us. Each character has their own reason for being there…as well as background, which forms their identity and ultimate purpose. Chemistry? Man. You will probably never, ever, hear me say this again, but these two were adorable together. That innocent tension and those shy awkward behaviors were actually really well done, so I applaud them.
WRITING SCORE – 10/10
Dialogue – 2|Balance – 2|Story – 2|Originality – 2|Interesting – 2
Next, we’ll take a look at the writing category, which also received a perfect score. First, the dialogue. When a film focuses in so intimately with the main characters, it doesn’t have a lot to go on but the dialogue. So, I’d say the speech was certainly an important element in this film, even if the lines weren’t always memorable. The balance of the film couldn’t be more focused and in tune – as most of the film takes place in one spot while the world revolves on without her outside. The story is sort of like Bubble Boy, except taken a lot more seriously…and I may have just not have heard of them, but I have never seen a movie like this before. The concept is interesting and the execution is interesting. It’s hard to say where the film will go when there’s not a lot of options for the girl in the first place.
BTS SCORE – 8/10
Visuals – 1|Directing – 2|Editing – 1|Advertisement – 2|Music – 2
Behind-the-scenes also got an okay score. The main areas in need of improvement were the visuals – which was as basic as you can probably imagine it would be, and the editing, which was average in a way that I think anyone could do the job. Everything, everything else done perfectly…see what I did there? The director had a good eye for camera placement in general, as well as how to tell an efficient story, the film was as-advertised, and I actually liked the music and scoring choices used in the film.
NARRATIVE ARC SCORE – 10/10
Introduction – 2|Inciting Incident – 2|Obstacles – 2|Climax – 2|Falling Action – 2
Moving on to the narrative arc category, which surprised me in some ways. The introduction really just introduces us to characters and why Maddy is in this situation. The inciting incident is when good ol’ Olly brings cheesecake to the house and the two fall for each other, which creates friction and obstacles in several, several forms. The climax is a mix of a decent epiphany and action made, which was definitely a culmination of everything else, and the falling action returns us to a new norm…everything was definitely in place here.
ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 6/10
Rewatchability – 2|Fun – 2|Impulse/Buy – 0|Impulse/Talk – 0|Sucks you in – 2
Now, how entertaining was it? I think it was pretty darn entertaining in parts. For one, I’d definitely consider a film I’d have no issue rewatching again, I think it’s a movie that can suck you in from the get-go and have you interested in the film throughout – which is where the “fun” subcategory comes in. I definitely had fun watching the film. The only thing I will say is that I don’t think I’d care to really buy or own the film, nor do I care to talk to others about it. It’s not that kind of film, where it blows you away to the point where it needs to be known. No. It’s just a good movie to check out sometime.
SPECIALTY SCORE – 50/50
Drama – 10|Romance – 10|Concept – 10|Amandla Stenberg – 10|Halfway Decent – 10
Alright, guys. We are now finally onto the five specialty questions that I asked before seeing the film. Being a dramatic romance, how was the drama and how was the romance? These are easy. It’s definitely heavy in the drama when it needs to be and always incredibly romantic when it needed to be, as well. This is why I sometimes like drama romances more than rom-coms…these are believable and audiences can really connect with the characters, full points to both of those. The concept of being allergic to everything is interesting if done right – so did they do it right? I believe they did – yes. They explained the condition and even gave a few examples here and there. Full points. I’ve seen Amandla Stenberg in one other film – The Hunger Games, and I can officially say that she shines even brighter in this film. Full points. Finally, was this film halfway decent? Of course it was, full points!