• Guy Jeffries

Everything, Everything Review


Director: Stella Meghie.

Starring: Amandla Stenberg, Nick Robinson, Anika Noni Rose, Ana de la Reguera.

It's only Stella Meghie's second feature length film after her recent comedy, Jean of the Joneses. Though this one is not written by herself but instead based on the titular book, a debut novel by Nicola Yoon that was first published back in 2015 and 40 weeks on the New York Best Sellers list for young adult fiction. Inspired by her own maternal worries, being a first time mother, she created a story about a teenage girl would constantly needed the same level of protection.

The story is central to Maddy, an 18yr old girl who has been unable to leave her specially adapted home her entire life due to being diagnosed with SCID (severe combined immunodeficiency) a rare condition that means her body cannot fight the everyday bacteria the rest of the world come into contact with and means she is confined to her sanitised and strictly controlled home.

Whilst being impossibly to imagine what that must feel like, being self-contain, unable to live, breathe and see the world around, the film does do well to get this point across, giving us a detailed look into Maddy's home and routine, which becomes interrupted by the new boy next door, who takes a keen interest in Maddy and after some obvious hurdles, makes contact. The film then follows their relationship as Maddy struggles with what her heart wants and her over-protective mother.

Stenberg is brilliant as Maddy and seems to be very much at ease with her character, as does Robinson playing Olly, the boy next boy. Whilst all the cast give good performances it's really only Maddy's story that remains the key focus with the rest getting little development. There feels like there's more to be told and I can only assume the book possibly goes into more detail about the other characters such as Olly, her mother, her nurse and best friend who literally has one scene.

It verges very much on being one of those pity love stories where you feel sorry for the characters, like The Fault in Our Stars or Me Before You, but heads in a different direction so you don't really feel much of anything for her apart from frustration.

As Meghie's second main feature, it's a good, solid, piece. A vibrant, thoughtful and engaging story that keeps you interested for the whole 96mins. Ludwig Göransson provides a rather enchanting and easy-listening score that suits the film and is a good contrast to the more upbeat soundtrack.

Though the story might be quite original, it doesn't feel as refreshing as I would expect and does, at times feel like you've seen this kind of movie before. It would nicely sit next to The Space Between Us being nothing more than an above average teenage romance/drama.

Running Time: 7

The Cast: 8

Performance: 7

Direction: 7

Story: 7

Script: 8

Creativity: 7

Soundtrack: 7

Job Description: 6

The Extra Bonus Point: 0

64% 6/10

#StellaMeghie #NickRobinson #AnikaNoniRose #AnadelaReguera #LudwigGöransson #AmandlaStenberg