Courtesy of Warner Bros Pictures.
“The Hunger Games” stand-out Amandla Stenberg is all grown up now in the new romantic drama, “Everything, Everything.” She plays Maddy Whittier, a not-so average 18 year old girl. Maddy was born with an immune deficiency that prevents her from leaving the house. Just stepping outside and touching a tree could kill her. Her life is all routine, except when a cute boy moves in next door and catches her attention. His name is Olly (Nick Robinson) and it’s clear they both like each other very much. Of course, her illness is a big hurdle, with her mother (Anika Noni Rose) constantly breathing down her neck reminding her how deadly a relationship can be. That doesn’t stop the love birds from running off to Hawaii to fulfill a lifelong dream of Maddie seeing the ocean or finding out what true love means in the process. Director, Stella Meghie stages these scenes very fruitfully, that it’s so hard to root against the characters. But running a quick 90 minutes, you never feel the chemistry Maddie and Olly should share or see the relationship blossom. And by the time the couple makes it to Hawaii, you still have the feeling they don’t know each other very well, making the romance hard to believe. Our two lead performers all turn in fine work, and some of the earlier scenes are very creative (the way Meghie depicts the two having texting conversations is the best thing the movie offers). “Everything, Everything” will serve itself to the tween audience that will gawk every time something cute happens, but you won’t walk out feeling satisfied the way I did with “Me Before You” last summer. C+