EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING — Review by Susan Granger

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There have been so many movies about attractive young people falling in love, while facing potentially fatal illnesses, that there’s now a new sub-genre called Sickness Porn. Adapted from YA novels – like “The Fault in Our Stars,” “If I Stay,” “Me Before You,” “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” among others – its roots can be traced back to “Love Story” (1970). Continue reading…

The illness featured in this romantic drama is severe combined immune deficiency of SCID. Sufferers of this disease can’t make antibodies to protect themselves from infection. It was first popularized in the 1970s with “Bubble Boy” about a lad living in a purified environment.

In this sappy but sweet story – with the tagline “Risk everything…for love” – exuberant, 18 year-old Maddy Whittier (Amanda Stenberg) is an aspiring architect, despite having spent her entire life in a hermetically-sealed glass sanctuary, designed to keep her safe.

“If I went outside, I’d die,” she explains.

Despite continuous monitoring by her overly-protective mother/doctor Pauline (Anika Noni Rose), Maddy is intrigued by Olly (Nick Robinson), the boy-next-door, recently relocated from New York. As opposed to Maddy’s solid white attire, he dresses in black, rides a skateboard and arrives at the Whittiers’ door bearing a Bundt cake from his mom.

First, there are handwritten signs. Then they shyly text. Finally, there’s a meeting, facilitated by Maddy’s empathetic nurse Carla (Ana de la Reguera), complete with the requisite decontamination protocol. Before long, they’re running away from Los Angeles for a Hawaiian vacation.

That’s where there’s a preposterous plot twist: an episode of myocarditis in Maui alters the diagnosis of Maddie’s condition to Munchausen’s-by-proxy and parental medical abuse, launching a disconcerting “you’re not really disabled” narrative.

Working from Nicola Yoon’s debut YA novel, scripted by J. Mills Goodloe (“The Age of Adaline”), it’s directed by Jamaican-Canadian Stella Megie (“Jean of the Joneses”), who injects several clever gimmicks, like a retro aquamarine-colored diner and Maddie’s imaginary astronaut (Sage Brocklebank).

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Everything, Everything” is a facile, foolish 4, completely losing plausibility in the third act.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.