EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING

"Major Flaws Limit Romantic Drama’s Appeal"

Quality: Content: -2 "EXTREME CAUTION"
NoneLightModerateHeavy
Language
Violence
Sex
Nudity

Summary:

EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING is a romantic drama about a 17-year-old girl who’s been trapped in her house her entire life due to being allergic to everything and the new boy next door with whom she falls in love and risks her health. The romantic leads in EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING give engaging performances, but the story is sometimes limited and lacks enough jeopardy, with a romanticized, immoral attitude toward teenage sexuality, mitigated by some light positive elements.

Review:

EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING is a romantic drama about a 17-year-old girl, who’s been trapped in her house her entire life due to being allergic to everything, and the new boy next door with whom she falls in love and risks her health. The romantic leads in EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING give engaging performances, but the story is sometimes limited and superficial, with a romanticized, immoral attitude toward teenage sexuality, mitigated by some light positive elements.

Maddy is a 17-year-old girl, who’s never left her suburban Los Angeles home because of having a disorder that makes her allergic to nearly everything in the outside world. She’s a virtual prisoner in her home with her doctor mother Pauline, who treats Maddy herself and hasn’t allowed anyone to enter the house other than her longtime maid Carla and Carla’s daughter since her husband and other child died in a car crash 15 years before.

One day, a cute teenage boy named Olly moves in next door. He and Maddy start flirting via text messages almost instantly. As Maddy develops feelings for him, she reveals her condition, and the two find inventive ways to communicate via text, online and the phone, with Maddy imagining some of their conversations taking place in a model she’s building of a diner.
Eventually, Carla sneaks Olly into the house on the condition the teenagers don’t make physical contact with each other in any way. Thus, the movie seems like it’s going to show a chaste relationship based on truly getting to know each other.

However, Maddy has Olly come over for the Fourth of July, when both her mom and Carla are gone, and the couple kiss. When Maddy miraculously manages to avoid getting sick, she becomes more determined to develop a real relationship with Olly. One day, though, Olly gets hit in a fight with his alcoholic father, and Maddy runs outside in a panic to help Olly. So, Pauline forces their contact to end, which leads the two teenagers to plan an escape together.

EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING has engaging performances from its lead teenage couple. The lead actors, Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson, have a fun chemistry together. However, the story is rather limited, simplistic and claustrophobic, especially since so much of it takes place inside Maddy’s house. So, it’s easy to lose interest in the story fairly early, though the teenage girls at the advance screening laughed at a lot of the humor and swooned audibly in the couple’s sweeter moments.

That said, when the teenagers run away together, the movie strangely has a very limited portrayal of what a girl, who’s basically been a prisoner her entire life, would do while discovering the world for the first time. Worse, their sweet romance is tarnished by the fact they have a romantically portrayed sex scene together (without moral consequences) on their first night away. This, of course, sets a poor example for the movie’s targeted teenage audience. Also, Maddy’s mother is proven to have engaged in a major deception with Maddy, but they are shown forgiving each other. So, overall, their relationship ends up being a nice portrayal of a mother-daughter relationship.

All in all, EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING has a story that’s too simplistic and too limited in its plotting and jeopardy to truly care about the characters. Admirably, EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING has almost no foul language, but the movie’s teenage sex scene merits extreme caution. It severely damages any goodwill that the movie otherwise manages to achieve, especially when it comes to family and other media-wise viewers.

Content:

(RoRo, B, C, L, V, SS, AA, MM) Strong Romantic worldview includes a romanticized view of teenager love and sex, mitigated by a moral, redemptive element promoting forgiveness, but no religious references; one “s” obscenity and one light profanity; light violence includes teenage boy shoves and punches his father, then is punched by his father, and it’s revealed later that the father is an alcoholic, and the boy was fighting him after father beat boy’s mother; partial depicted and implied fornication when teenage couple takes a trip together, and there’s a highly romanticized view of their sexual encounter (without any consequences), where only the bare shoulders and neck of the girl are shown, but the boy is shirtless, and they kiss slowly and passionately while he’s on top for about 30 seconds before camera cuts away and next morning the girl looks nonchalant and happy, while looking in the mirror; upper male nudity in one scene; it’s implied teenage boy drinks a glass of alcohol in one scene, and it’s revealed teenage boy’s father is an alcoholic; no smoking or drugs; and strong miscellaneous immorality where lead female character, who turns 18 during the movie, engages in deception, signing up for an online credit card to buy tickets to Hawaii and other things, laughing that it’s easy to get a credit card online and implying she doesn’t care if she pays it off or not, girl lies to her mother about getting to know the boy, though after a lifetime of being with hardly any friend contact due to her mother’s fear of her getting sick from others (though it’s pretty understandable the girl would be desperate for some personal contact with other people her age), teenage couple runs away together on the spur of the moment and leaving girl’s mom worried because she doesn’t know where they are, it’s revealed girl’s mother has been engaging in some severe lying herself to the teenage daughter, but they forgive each other, and teenage boy boasts of having several vices but says his favorite is petty theft, though he’s never shown engaging in that behavior.

In Brief:

EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING is a romantic drama about two teenagers. Maddy is a 17-year-old girl, who’s never left her suburban home because she’s severely allergic to nearly everything in the outside world. She’s a virtual prisoner in her home with her widowed mother. One day, a cute teenage boy named Olly moves next door. He and Maddy start flirting via text messages almost instantly. Then, Olly gets hit in a fight with his alcoholic father, and Maddy runs outside in a panic to help Olly. So, Maddy’s mother forces their contact to end, which leads the two teenagers to plan an escape together.

EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING has engaging performances from its lead teenage couple. The young actors have a fun chemistry together. However, the story is rather limited and lacks strong enough jeopardy, though the humor will appeal to teenage viewers. Sadly, the sweet romance is tarnished when the teenagers have a romantically portrayed sex scene on their first night away. The scene severely damages any goodwill that EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING otherwise manages to achieve, especially when it comes to family and media-wise viewers.