Midnight Sun (2018)

Courtesy of Open Road Films
Courtesy of Open Road Films

What do you do when you fall in love, but you have a big secret? What if that secret impacts the way you live every day?

Katie Price, portrayed by Bella Thorne, is your average 17-year-old girl, except she’s been homeschooled her whole life and never goes outside during the day. She lives with a rare genetic condition that prevents her from being exposed to sunlight. One night, while playing her guitar at the train station, she meets Charlie, the boy she has seen and looked out for from her bedroom window for years. Patrick Schwarzenegger fills the role of Charlie.

As Katie and Charlie continue to get to know each other, they fall in love and share adventures and experiences together. Quickly, Katie’s illness starts to catch up with her and she is forced to confront this in her relationship.

Midnight Sun is similar to what we’ve seen before, even as recently as 2017 with Everything, Everything, starring Nick Robinson and Amandla Stenberg. It is a typical teenage and young adult romance, with little exposition and a narrow story. Beyond the film’s two main characters, Katie and Charlie, not much else is happening. Rob Riggle and Quinn Shephard play the supporting cast, as father and best friend respectively, and add some depth and emotion to the story. Riggle also brings some humor to his role.

This movie is awkward, as Thorne and Schwarzenegger’s interactions onscreen can come across as tepid and rehearsed. They don’t seem to share a natural chemistry with each other. However, on their own, or with other actors, their performances come across as more genuine. Midnight Sun somehow still entertains with sentimentality and sweetness. It is able to pull the viewer in and, by the end of it all, they may be shedding a few tears.

Midnight Sun doesn’t demand to be seen on the big screen. It can be enjoyed in theaters, or at home when it becomes available. And, while many reviews haven’t been favorable, theatergoers are still able to find something to like about this story.

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