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  • by Wes Singleton

Everything, Everything, C-


Rated PG-13, 96 minutes

The likable yet exceedingly predictable Young Adult film "Everything, Everything" is nothing new: think Nicolas Sparks-lite mixed with a twinge of "Fault in Our Stars." The charming leads make it somewhat worthwhile, but the contrived, vacuous storytelling may induce some eye rolling or even unintended laughter.

The charming leads Maddy ("The Hunger Games'" Amandla Stenberg) is a smart, curious and imaginative 18-year-old who is unable to leave the protection of the hermetically-sealed environment within her house because of an illness and her mother's (Anika Noni Rose) watchful care. Olly ("Jurassic World's" Nick Robinson) is the boy next door who won't let that stop them from being together. Gazing through windows and talking only through texts, Maddy and Olly form a deep bond that leads them to risk everything to be together, even if it means losing everything.

The thinly charming "Everything, Everything" is directed by Canadian filmmaker Stella Meghie and is written by "The Age of Adalaine's" J. Mills Goodloe, and is a faithful adaptation of Nicola Yoon's YA best-seller of the same name. It's pleasant, appealing trifle yet so cookie-cutter you may be able to tell what happens from just watching the trailers for the film, which give most of it away.

The first and second acts are the best, but when the film veers off to Hawaii late in the second act, it becomes too silly; it doesn't help that a misplaced sensual scene has been added to the film, and it was obvious given the unintended laughter that it created during a recent screening, which doesn't exactly help to have audiences laughing in the wrong places. It doesn't help that the texting scenes, which are designed to bring the audience closer to their conversations, are confusing to the narrative.

Robinson and Stenberg are a sweet couple, and as Maddy's overprotective mother, Tony-winner Anika Noni Rose ("Dreamgirls") is memorably affecting as the mom who wants to keep her daughter a little too close. It seems that "Everything, Everything" has everything going for it: a great cast and an intriguing narrative, but it seems to only skim the surface of being a truly brave film.

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