Movie Reviews

Midnight Sun – A Paint-By-Numbers Teen Romance Film

Another derivative teen romance film!

Synopsis: Sheltered since early childhood, 17-year-old Katie Price, lives with a rare life-threatening disease that makes even the smallest amount of sunlight deadly. During the day she is housebound, having only her father, Jack for company. But it is after nightfall that Katie’s world opens up, in the dark, when she ventures out to the local train station to play her guitar for travelers. One night, fate intervenes when she meets Charlie, an ex-high school all-star athlete, whom she has secretly admired for years. She hides her condition from him as the two embark on a uniquely powerful romance that will change them – and those around them – forever. (eOne Films)

Starring: Bella ThornePatrick Schwarzenegger, and Rob Riggle

Writer:  Eric Kirsten

Director:  Scott Speer

Rating: PG (Canada)/PG-13 (United States)

Running Time: 91mins

Trailer: 

For showtimes and more, check out Midnight Sun on movietimes.com.

Absolutely nothing about this film should come as much of a surprise as this type of film has been done to death in one form or another. This film was so derivative to the point of predictability as it simply checks off almost every overused cliche after overused cliche, manipulates us emotionally, and takes as many contrived turns as possible until it gets to its destination all over its 91 minute running time. It’s like they didn’t even try but they almost don’t have to as these films still have their audience and always seem to do fine regardless .

Katie (Thorne) is a 17-year-old girl with a rare life-threatening condition that makes sunlight deadly for her. During the day, she is stuck at home with her father Jack (Riggle), isolated from a normal life. However at night, she is free to roam. During her isolated life, Katie would admire from afar a highschool athlete named Charlie (Schwarzenegger). Both Katie and Charlie had generic backstories of their own but they ultimately didn’t matter all that much in terms of the main story.

After a chance encounter one evening, the two quickly fall in love and have the time of their young lives together which happened exactly how you would expect though in a sanitized way. Regardless of how much fun they were having and the life lessons they were teaching each other and Jack, it wouldn’t last as something would inevitably happen that would jeopardize their relationship and unsurprisingly, it did as was their eventual reunion. The story did try something slightly different with its ending but you can see it from a mile away.

The acting was okay all around which is par for the course for films like this and could be attributed mostly to the direction and the lazy script. They all did the best with what they had. The film will live or die based on the believability of the relationship between Katie and Charlie. While they were believable enough, it was just hard to care about either of them. Thorne and Schwarzenegger had some chemistry. While Thorne was okay, Schwarzenegger was on the wooden side. Riggle sleepwalked as Jack.

Overall, this was an okay but extremely derivative teen romance film full of the cheesiness and contrived melodrama we’ve come to expect which should very well entertain teen viewers but will leave other simply rolling their eyes in annoyance.

Score: 5/10

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