Currently browsing the "YA" tag.

Review: The Map of Tiny Perfect Things

There’s certainly no shortage of movies featuring a time loop or “temporal anomaly.” There’s Groundhog Day, of course, as well as 12 Dates of Christmas, Before I Fall, Edge of Tomorrow, Happy Death Day, to name but a few. So it’s really no wonder that I felt a certain sense of déjà vu watching The Map of Tiny Perfect Things.

Quickie Review: Words on Bathroom Walls

Words on Bathroom Walls is the latest in a string of films adapted from popular novels – YA and otherwise. But as far as I can tell, it’s only being released in theaters at the moment, which makes it hard to find and even harder to break through as anything resembling a “must see” in the age of COVID-19. And that’s rather a shame, because the film explores a topic rarely seen on film and certainly not from this perspective. It tells the story of Adam (Charlie Plummer, All the Money in the World), a mostly typical teen who gets diagnosed with schizophrenia – and expelled – midway through his senior year of high school. He sometimes sees and hears people that aren’t there, which can lead to frightening psychotic breaks. Adam ends up getting accepted to a Catholic school on the condition he take his meds religiously. This prove difficult when the drugs interfere with his love of cooking (he dreams of going to culinary arts school) as well as his budding romance with Maya (Taylor Russell, Waves), the school’s smart, attractive, clever and industrious presumptive valedictorian. Adam tries to keep his mental illness a secret from Maya, and all his classmates, and ends up walking a very tight rope.

Quickie Review: The Sun Is Also a Star

The Sun Is Also a Star is a fine though forgettable romantic drama for the YA crowd and possibly others who’ve read the best-selling novel of the same name by Nicola Yoon, the author of “Everything, Everything,” which was turned into a movie that included such a dreadful twist that I declined to post a review back in 2017. The Sun Is Also a Star has the same general vibe and target audience as Everything, Everything but is significantly better, better. It’s a meet-cute movie that delves into themes of love, chemistry, destiny, fate, immigration, deportation and assimilation. All in the span of a (rather slow) day.

Review: Five Feet Apart

Haven’t I seen this movie somewhere before? Yes, Five Feet Apart does indeed look a lot like the 2014 ailing-teen romantic drama tearjerker, The Fault in Our Stars. Only this time around, the affliction casting a shadow over budding romance is cystic fibrosis rather than cancer. The bottom line remains the same: chronic and terminal diseases suck. And while love can’t always conquer all, the battle is still worth fighting. Cue the melodramatic score and pass the tissues, please.

Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures is based on a popular novel for the ‘YA’ (young adult) crowd. And while I pride myself on being hip to such trends (Twilight, The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, etc.), I’d never actually heard of it. So I went into the movie with zero expectations. And in the end – I thought it was okay. Nothing extraordinary. But it didn’t suck. I actually found it more interesting and romantically engaging than that other popular-novel-turned-movie released for Valentine’s Day, Safe Haven. Both movies feature a supernatural element, but Beautiful Creatures takes it to the max. If you hear pop culture rumblings about “being claimed” – Beautiful Creatures is to blame.