Thanks for reading my very first book vs. movie review! I’m so grateful that you’re here! I’m going to format this like I do most of my book reviews with a “Praise for Everything, Everything” section, an “Opportunities for Improvement” section, and an “Other comments” section.
Everything, Everything is a book/movie about a girl, Madeline, who is basically allergic to the world. She hasn’t left her house in 17 years, and the only people she sees on a regular basis are her nurse, Carla, and her mom. Then, Olly’s family moves in to the vacant house next door, and everything changes. She quickly falls for the boy who shows her that maybe living is worth the risk of dying.
I saw the movie Everything, Everything on May 19th, the day it came out in theaters and only 2 days after I finished reading the book, so everything was very fresh in my mind. I have to admit that I was really nervous going into it. I enjoyed the book a lot, and I really didn’t want to see them butcher the movie. Low and behold, that’s exactly what they did.
(Minimal) Praise for the movie Everything, Everything:
N/A. I really really don’t like to leave this section blank. I generally like to use this blog to lift people up and “spread kindness around like confetti”, but honestly there just wasn’t anything that stood out to me about this movie as extraordinary. I don’t want to compromise the integrity of my posts by searching for something or making something up. If you had something you really liked about the movie, please leave me a comment! I would LOVE to hear something positive!
Opportunities for Improvement/Things that Irked Me:
- Unnecessary differences between the book and the movie: There were a lot of little things that were different in the movie than they were in the book. For example, Carla, Madeline’s nurse, has a daughter around Madeline’s age named Rosa. In the book, Madeline and Rosa aren’t really friends since it’s so risky and difficult for anyone to visit her. In the movie, however, Rosa is apparently over all the time. While a lot of the differences were very subtle like this one, they irked me because I didn’t see a point to them. I’m thinking that the directors wrote Rosa in as Madeline’s good friend to add an extra character (since there are really only like four characters in the whole book), but she was literally in one (relatively unimportant) scene. Had they left her out of the movie entirely, it wouldn’t have effected the plot or storyline flow in the slightest and it would have been cheaper. I understand that sometimes directors can’t be 100% true to the book, because they have 2 hours to accomplish what the author did in several hundred pages. However, the differences that
- Annoying characters: The naivety of Madeline and the joking cockiness of Olly that were so endearing in the book were just kind of annoying when watching it on the big screen. Again, in defense of the directors, I will say that a girl who hasn’t left her house in 17 years is bound to be a bit socially awkward (as are most high schoolers who do leave their house!) I don’t think the scripting or acting was inaccurate or that it wasn’t true to the characters in the book. I just think when reading about these two teenagers, it made me nostalgic for my own high school years. When watching it in a theater, it made me want to gag.
- Creative decisions: In the producers’ and directors’ defense, Everything, Everything is not a book that translates very well to movie format as a lot of the story line is conveyed through IMing, e-mail messages, receipts, diagram, etc. Additionally, the book is very centered on the internal growth of Madeline. Internal growth is really hard to portray in a film much less make interesting in film format. That being said, I didn’t love some of the creative decisions the directors made with how to translate this book into a movie. For example, Madeline is in a architecture course where she has to build models of a shopping center, a library, etc. When Madeline and Olly are having their first text conversation, they are transported into the cafe in Madeline’s shopping center model where they sit at a booth together “talking out” the conversation. I just didn’t get the point of this and didn’t think it added anything. Again, I get that the directors had to figure out how to turn half a book of IM conversations into a movie that would hold people’s attention. They didn’t have a lot to work with, and for some people this solution may have been wonderful. It just fell a little flat for me.
In summary, Everything, Everything is a book that doesn’t translate well to a movie, and I think the directors bit off more than they could chew with this one.