Everything, Everything [2017] ★★½

 “Everything, Everything” features two extremely likable characters that it almost doesn’t matter that it isn’t very original. God knows I’ve suffered through endless romantic movies based on Nicholas Sparks’ books, so it’s always refreshing to encounter a love story that doesn’t have Sparks’ signature written all over it. The author, this time, is Nicola Yoon, and the movie, smoothly directed by Stella Meghie, tells the story of Maddie (Amandla Stenberg), a teenage girl who is unable to leave her house because she’s allergic to everything, and I do mean everything. Enter Olly (Nick Robinson), the new boy next door who falls instantly for her, even tough she makes it clear right from the start that she will never be able to go out and meet him. Clichés abound: of course her mom is overprotective, and of course his dad is a complete douchebag. “Everything, Everything” gets a lot of things right that it’s OK to overlook its shortcomings. What I liked the most about it is that it never looks down on its audience and gives you exactly what you would expect from it. Nothing more, nothing less. Readers of the book will have their own opinions, I’m sure, but what I personally take away more than anything is admiration for its leading lady. Amandla Stenberg is the driving force here, and she makes this otherwise predictable love story worth seeing.

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