What it's about:
What if you couldn’t touch anything in the outside world? Never breathe in the fresh air, feel the sun warm your face, or kiss the boy next door? Maddy is a smart, curious and imaginative 18-year-old who, due to an illness, cannot leave the protection of the hermetically-sealed environment within her house, and Olly, the boy next door who won’t let that stop him.
What we thought:
When I first saw the trailer for this film adaptation on Nicole Yoon's young adult novel my first reaction was to get the book, immediately, which I did.
I was pleasantly surprised that I like both the movie and the book in equal parts.
The movie enhances a lot of aspects of the novel and it was refreshing to watch the words from the page come to life.
Maddy Whittier played by Amandla Stenberg is a teen who has never left her house. She has a condition called SCID, an immuno-deficiency disease which prevents her from living a normal life.
In total she only comes into contact with three people her doctor mom Pauline (Anika Noni Rose) her nurse Carla (Ana de la Reguera) and Carla's daughter (Danube Hermosillo).
Maddy seems to be content with her life until she meets her new neighbour Olly (Nick Robinson).
What follows are the ups and downs of what seems to be an impossible young love.
Stenberg and Robinson are a joy to watch. They are charismatic, engaging and have great chemistry.
When it comes to character development it is only Maddy who goes through the coming of age arch.
I do wish that they would have focused more on Olly's back story, like the novel does and given him some layers instead of just being the hot boy from next door.
It’s not all love and pining though the film takes a turn with a big dark plot twist, which unfortunately the movie didn't delve into deeper.
Overall as a teen romance the film ticks all the right boxes: Likable lead, a good story line, and an unexpected twist.
PS. It has a hot soundtrack too.