Staring two of the most likeable young actors working in Hollywood right now, and adapted from Nicola Yoon’s popular YA novel of the same name, Everything Everything is a deeply flawed, yet charming coming of age love story. Directed by newcomer Stella Meghie, the film is likely to score high with its target audience of love-struck teenagers, but might rightly leave the rest of us jaded adults slightly exasperated by its sickly sweet and not entirely believable premise.

Playing with pretty much the same ideas of love and loss as in The Fault In Our Stars, John Green’s far superior and more nuanced “sick-lit” adaptation, the film never quite manages to hit the right note and ultimately leaves its audience wondering why is a film which is mostly aimed at a young audience attempting to look like a stylish furniture commercial.

Everything Everything18 year old Maddy (Amandla Stenberg) suffers from a severe Immunodeficiency disease which could kill her if she ever left her house. A practical prisoner in her own home, the teenager dreams of the great outdoors and of being able to lead a normal life outside of her glass prison. When handsome teenage boy Olly (Nick Robinson) moves into the house next door with his troubled family, Maddy is instantly taken by his jokey antics and boyish good looks. Soon the two strike up a friendship online and on their smartphones which will start to consume both of them. Unbeknown to Maddy’s protective mother Pauline (Anika Noni Rose), and with the help with her nurse Carla (Ana de la Reguera), the lovestruck teenagers start to meet in secret during the day and spend most nights texting or on the phone to each other.

With a final twist which anyone could have seen coming a mile off, and an overly stylised mise-en-scene which adds almost nothing to the story, the film sadly fails to deliver completely on its initial premise of youthful rebellion and teenage jubilance. Having said, no one could ever deny the great dynamic between its two leads. Stenberg’s fresh faced delivery and inner charm shine through from the get go, and it would be hard to think of any other young actress who could have carried this overly melodramatic production as expertly as she does. While Robinson puts a highly impressive turn as the charming, yet dangerous boy next door.

On the whole this fairly inoffensive production might strike the right chord with the demographic it is aimed at, but just don’t expect anything more from it. With a disappointingly pedestrian soundtrack and a predicable dialogue, Everything Everything isn’t likely to win in the subtlety stakes any day of the week, but this won’t matter too much to fans of Nicola Yoon’s book who have waited years for to finally see their favourite characters on screen. 

Everything Everything is released on August 18th

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Everything Everything
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Linda Marric is a senior film critic and the newly appointed Reviews Editor for HeyUGuys. She has written extensively about film and TV over the last decade. After graduating with a degree in Film Studies from King's College London, she has worked in post-production on a number of film projects and other film related roles. She has a huge passion for intelligent Scifi movies and is never put off by the prospect of a romantic comedy. Favourite movie: Brazil.