“The Fault in Our Stars” meets “Room” in “Everything, Everything,” a confounding psychological drama masquerading as a cutesy teen love story.
Maddy Whittier (Amandla Stenberg, Rue from “The Hunger Games”) is a teen living with a rare disease that makes her allergic to, literally, everything. She has never left the confines of her house, and only has contact with her mother, her nurse and the one friend she is allowed to bring over to the house. Before entering the modern nouveau home (mom is a well-to-do doctor), guests must pass through an airtight chamber where they are decontaminated of harmful germs.
Maddy is lonely, but surprisingly normal given her circumstances; she has access to the internet, which the filmmakers treat as a substitute for actual life.
Then a cute boy named Olly (Nick Robinson, “Jurassic World”) moves next door, and Maddy swoons. They gaze at each other from behind their bedroom windows and chat via text — it never even occurs to them to use the phone as an actual phone — and fall for one another despite their physical hurdles.
It’s an innocent-enough teen-lit romance (it’s adapted from Nicola Yoon’s 2015 young adult novel) with two attractive leads and some nice directorial touches by Stella Meghie. Then the story takes a hard turn that, without getting too spoiler-y, changes the nature of everything that came before it and poses so many questions that it sinks the film. Picture “The Silence of the Lambs” through the eyes of a teen, where only at the end do you learn her father is Hannibal Lecter, and you’re close. And that’s as close as you should get to “Everything, Everything.”
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and brief sensuality
Running time: 96 minutes