Her world is the inside of a beautiful, contemporary home, her mother who is also her doctor (Anika Noni Rose) and her nurse (Ana de la Reguera). She is Maddy, (Amandla Stenberg) an 18-year-old, whose fragile immune system requires that she stay indoors in a controlled environment. Maddy’s knowledge of the outside world comes from books, the internet and looking through the big windows in her house.
It’s through those windows, she first sees her new neighbor, Olly (Nick Robinson). At first, they exchange glances, then notes (placed against the window), finally cell phone numbers which lead to a steady stream of texts. It’s through her relationship with Olly, Maddy finds the courage to venture out.
Everything, Everything, directed by director and screenwriter, Stella Meghie, a Black woman from Canada, is an amazing movie; and it’s a huge See It!
Its starts with the leads Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson; they’re captivating. This film wouldn’t work if they weren’t magical together. And they are. They have to make viewers believe and understand that what they have Maddy would risk her life for. They believe and they understand.
Writers J. Mills Goodloe and Nicola Yoon create two sympathetic characters (Olly has trouble at home) but not pitiful characters that you’ll embrace and cheer for.
Goodloe and Yoon do fall into a common screenwriters trap: writing dialogue which doesn’t make sense other than to try to convey information to viewers. Maddy’s father and brother were killed in an accident when she was a baby. There’s a family photo in Maddy’s room. Her mother picks up the photo and discusses all the details surrounding that photo. Maddy should already know that stuff. But the viewers don’t, so the writers use that device to inform them.
Some of the scenes are not thought through thoroughly. When Maddy does venture out, she goes into a shop, takes an item off the rack and goes straight to the fitting room. This is not the behavior of someone who has never been out her house and has never been in a store.
As to racial diversity, this cast gets an “A”. It’s a small group but diverse in that blacks, whites, Hispanics, and Asians play prominent roles. This is a love story between a black woman and white man. But it’s not about race. In fact, race is not mentioned at all. This story could have been about a man and woman of any race.
Everything, Everything is rated PG-13 for thematic elements and brief sensuality and is 96 minutes in length. If you haven’t seen a movie this year, see this one.