The film adaptation of Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything arrived in theatres today. So let’s step inside the FYA laboratory to analyze… well, everything, everything.
(In the interest of scientific disclosure, I watched the movie without having first read the book and therefore can’t judge the faithfulness of the adaptation. And be forewarned: this post gets more and more spoiler-y the further along you read. But the drinking game has been kept as spoiler-free as possible!)
The Official FYA Everything, Everything Drinking Game
Take a drink whenever:
- Maddy and Olly are so adorkably awkward together
- a scene starts up that Maddy reimagines (e.g., a text convo playing out like it’s face-to-face) or invents altogether
- Maddy writes a book review
- you worry about Maddy’s health
- you think, “Damn, I WANT TO GO TO THERE.” (Mostly for a locale, but this works for people, too.)
Take a shot whenever:
- someone goes through the decontamination chamber
- the imaginary astronaut appears
Finish your drink (and resist the urge to throw your glass against the wall) when:
- THE THING happens (less vagueness on this later)
Everything, Everything That I Loved
- Amandla Stenberg is absolutely radiant, y’all. Little Rue is all grown up but still SO CUTE. Whenever they smile, the whole world smiles with them. So, so perfect.
- Nick Robinson for all your Mysterious Loner Dude roles forever and ever, amen. OK, so Olly isn’t that mysterious, but he definitely has MLD hair. (And now I can totally see Nick as Marcus Flutie.) I’m not fully a creepy old lady over Nick just yet — although I’d completely understand if someone was (HI, ROSEMARY) — but I’m well on my way if he has a few more years of sensitive teen heartthrob roles ahead.
- But really, can we talk about Maddy and Olly?! MUCH SQUEE.
- Speaking of the leads, future YA adaptations are in great hands with these two. (Amandla in The Hate U Give and The Darkest Minds; Nick in Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.)
- On the subject of talent powerhouses: director Stella Meghie is the fucking TRUTH. I haven’t watched anything else she’s directed yet (only one other full-length film so far), but I’m definitely paying attention now. And she’s Canadian! Someone get this lady any movie that she wants to make, PLEASE.
- One of my favourite things that Meghie does is how she represents texts and online messages as imagined convos, circumventing the very premise doesn’t allow for a lot of interaction between Maddy and Olly, as well as allowing for more shared screen time with the two magnetic leads.
- The animations! While I’m not sure if Nicola Yoon’s husband, David, was involved in the process, some of the artwork does look familiar to his illustrations for the book. (He did design a movie poster, though!)
- As we’ve seen time and time before, translating words from page to screen can be tricky. Thankfully, the dialogue here is pretty natural and non-cringeworthy. (Or deliberately non-cringeworthy when it wants to be, because there are some intentionally awkward moments.)
- Maddy is a book blogger! I’d read the shizz out of her short spoiler-y reviews. (Promo department, why did you not make this happen!?!?)
- THE HAWAII PORN. That portion of the movie doubles as a fab tourism commercial.
- … Although that’s when the Fault in Our Stars-ness of it really hit me (girl-with-an-illness romance and travelling to an exciting destination together). But Everything, Everything makes this very specific subgenre it its own, for better or worse.
- WHOA WHOA WHOA — a big studio movie with POC characters played by actual POCs who aren’t Scarlett Johanssen or Matt Damon? AND the only white adults in it are all non-speaking or insignificant characters? MINDSPLOSION. (In all seriousness, though, this movie makes diversity look easy. But maybe that’s because it is?!?!?)
Everything, Everything That I Wanted More Of
- Through photographs, it’s shown that the Whittier family is at least biracial. However, I would have liked the movie to be more overt about Maddy being half Japanese-American, as she is in the book (although Amandla isn’t), since there’s zero mention of it.
- More Rosa! The daughter of Maddy’s nurse, Carla, Rosa is Maddy’s sole IRL friend before Olly comes along, but she only speaks in one scene. I get that hanging out with Rosa all the time would undermine Maddy’s loneliness, but their friendship is sorely underdeveloped and barely matters to the plot. (Same goes for Olly’s sister, Allie, who’s also a complete non-factor. I’m guessing that their brief cameos were more for book fans?)
- You guys, there’s some S-E-X! Weirdness of watching Rue get it on (tastefully) aside, I wish there was more — or any — focus on birth control. Not only for its main purpose, but I actually caught myself thinking, “OMG what if Maddy gets sick and dies by peen?!?!”
Everything, Everything That I Had Issues With
Some of these are going to seem like such nitpicks, I know. But I can usually overlook minor gaffes if everything else works. (So by virtue of these being mentioned, spoiler alert: I did not think everything else worked.)
- For someone who never leaves the house, why does Maddy have shoes? I can talk myself out of this one, since she and her mom could wear the same size. And I’ve been reminded that many U.S. dwellers engage in the ghastly practice of wearing shoes indoors. BUT STILL.
- Also for someone who never leaves the house, why does Maddy have government ID for flying? She turns 18 before the trip and would therefore require valid ID.
- While it appears possible for someone under 21 to rent a vehicle in Hawaii, as Olly does, it’s definitely not a common policy among major rental companies. (Yes, these are the kinds of thoughts that preoccupy my mind. I don’t know why I’m like this, either.)
- Even though Maddy is super blasé about racking up credit card debt (terrible example for teens, btw, esp. when so many of them are going to accumulate tons of debt through student loans), what exactly was she going to do when the bills started arriving? I guess someone who thinks they’re never going to leave the house might not worry so much about bad credit scores? But it’s not like someone who’s housebound wouldn’t be able to work from home and earn money anyway, so this is fiscally irresponsible no matter how you slice it.
- Given how careful the decontamination process is, why aren’t the contents of bags and purses decontaminated as well? What kind of hypochondriacs are you, Whittiers?! But, of course, this can be explained away by THE THING.
- There’s a serious lack of consequences — professional, legal, criminal consequences (at least, from what’s shown) — for THE THING.
… which leads us to THE THING, at last. MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. (Like, seriously; it’s the entire resolution of the movie.)
So, the big reveal is that Maddy doesn’t have SCID after all; her mom made the whole thing up. The precautions, the isolation — all of it unnecessary. Maddy only has a weak immune system because she’s been kept indoors for practically her whole life. Having already lost her husband and her firstborn child, Maddy’s mom was afraid to lose the only remaining member of her family. Ergo: solution.
Understandably, Maddy is PISSED. But she accepts that she’ll eventually forgive her mother for a literal lifetime of deception. I mean — sure, OK. But also? HOLY FREAKING SHIZZ.
After this point, I found it difficult to care about, like, anything else?! Because HOLY CRAP, I couldn’t dive right back into the warm fuzzy romance after a bombshell revelation like that. Especially one that was hand-waved away when OMFG how was this not the central story instead?! I’m probably extra horrified by this depiction of the mom suffering from Munchausen syndrome by proxy due to a recent real-life case of a mother-daughter duo, on whom a documentary debuted just this very week. (If HBO’s timing was on purpose, it’s a dastardly stroke of genius.) Like Passengers before it, this should have been a straight-up horror movie, because THAT’S KIND OF WHAT IT IS.
Final Thoughts on Everything, Everything
For the first two-thirds, I was totally on board. Then the final act happens, and OH, MAN — that is quite a lot to overcome, no matter how well made the rest of it is. (And everything else was pretty dang well made.) But based on the strength of how much I enjoyed most of the movie, I think I’d still recommend it, even to the uninitiated (i.e., non-book reader like I was) — with major, major reservations.
Have y’all watched Everything, Everything yet? For the book readers, was this adaptation — cue CSI shades — everything, everything? Hit me up with your thoughts in the comments!