I. Am. In. LOVE! This movie touched my soul and for more reasons than it is sweet as can be.
First, let me start by saying, I purchased and I read the book the minute I saw the first trailer drop. Anyone who knows me or who has been following this blog knows that I love swirling. Particularly with a Black woman and White man (or any man for that matter). Just so long as a Black woman is being loved on. So the concept appealed to me enough to make me snatch up the book, even though I don’t alway read YA (Young Adult) novels.
The book, written by a Black woman who is married to a Korean-American man, is sweet, original, and creative. In between the story are illustrations that the main character Maddy has drawn. It’s just another element that pulls you into the story. The love between Maddy and Olly is sweet, innocent, and pure. You can’t help but root for them.
So I went into the movie today with high hopes. I was so not disappointed. In fact, this may be the first time that a movie based on a book is as good if not better than the book. They cleverly found a way to express the email/text conversations between Maddy and Olly, which is how they mostly communicate in the beginning of their relationship. But the way they translated it to film, only enhanced their chemistry. And some of the sweet things Olly did for Maddy in the film, made the romance so much better than even the book.
The casting was phenomenal. Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson were cast perfectly and their chemistry was off the charts. The way he looked at her made it feel like he truly did love her. Either he’s one fantastic actor or he’s got a little crush on his leading lady. Or maybe that’s just me and my hopeful little fantasy world I’m living in.
The soundtrack was also amazing and eclectic. I’m thinking about purchasing it too.
But what really touched me that I mentioned at the beginning of this review? What made tears run continually down my face throughout the movie? Finally seeing a Black girl fall in love on the big screen.
Those who are not a part of the minority cannot understand or fathom what it is like to grow up NEVER seeing someone that looks even remotely like you falling in love on the big or small screen. I literally wept for the 13-18 year old me, who never got to see a black or brown girl fall in love as I grew up. The Molly Ringwalds of the world, the Teen Witches, the Brendas, Kellys, and Donnas of the world were the norm and the standard. So much so that I didn’t even realize that I was missing anything.
I cried because I didn’t know how much I wanted…no, needed to see that on a 5,000 square foot movie screen. I cried because it was 20+ years too late. I cried because I was so damn happy that I was finally seeing it. And it was…glorious.
But now I want more. And to get more, I need EVERYONE to go out and see this movie. I need Hollywood to understand that we desperately want and need more of this. So that they’ll be willing to produce more. For teens and adults alike.
I want to go to movies celebrating women of color finding love and being loved. But even movies like Waiting to Exhale, The Best Man movies, Something New, etc didn’t bring me to tears the way Everything, Everything did. Which lets me know that more than anything, our young girls desperately need to see black and brown girls falling in love and being loved.
We can’t let them down!