Everything, Everything: A film with the intentions of portraying SCID but falls short


Credit: Warner Bros and MGM

Brooklyne Shepherd

An 18-year-old girl who has never been outside. A reader, a thinker, a lover of life despite her captivity in doors. A girl who learns to take risks and realizes that love is worth everything.

The boy next door. The boy that teaches the girl that life is meant to be lived to the fullest. The boy that makes the girl take chances and feel as if she is outside when in reality she is not.

Based on the 2015 novel written by Nicola Yoon, Everything, Everything takes its audience on an emotional journey, plunging them into this film that follows the life of Maddy Whittier, a girl suffering from Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disorder (SCID). This romantic drama was directed by Stella Meghie and written by J. Mills Goodloe.  

Because Maddy had been diagnosed with SCID as a young child, the only thing she’s ever known is the confines and safety of her home. She only has the ability to interact with a select few people, which include her mother and personal doctor (Anika Noni Rose), her nurse Carla (Ana de la Reguera) and Carla’s daughter.

When a new family moves into the neighborhood, everything changes, as Maddy instantaneously forms a connection with the boy next door, Olly (Nick Robinson). Coincidentally both Maddy and Olly’s room windows face each other, thus allowing a friendship to form through texting. Due to the fact that Olly doesn’t really know Maddy or understand her condition and the fact that she cannot go outside, he hopes of actually meeting her in person. Although this plan seems outrageous due to the fact that Maddy has an extremely weak immune system and is unable to fight off infections, she convinces Carla to let her see Olly only on the condition that the two stand on opposite sides of the room with no physical contact.

Through the movie, their relationship slowly builds and Olly attempts to show Maddy the life that she has been missing out on for so long.



Everything, Everything attempted at portraying the realities of what it’s like to be battling a disease as severe as SCID. However, it received backlash and criticism for misinforming the public on immune disorders. Marcia Boyle, an advocate for individuals with immune deficiencies, argued that “The movies, to different degrees, were misrepresentations of his life and they have been completely upsetting to families with a child with SCID.”

She continued by saying that Everything, Everything “perpetuates the false stereotypes that those with the disorders need to live isolated lives.”

The fact that the film failed to accurately present extremely articulate disorders shows in the score it was given by Rotten Tomatoes, at a 46 percent.

Critic Jude Dry claimed that “Everything, Everything is not for everyone, but it will satisfy a certain subset of teenage girls who are compelled by watching fragile girls come-of-age with the help of a pretty boy.”


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