Catherine Goldberg ’20
The box office has been in dire need of romantic teen dramas this spring, and March’s release of Midnight Sun has proven to be a success. One may see the latest romance as a cross between Tangled and The Fault in Our Stars, which nails the target market of girls from ages 12 to 20.
Midnight Sun is a remake of a popular Japanese film from 2006, Song to the Sun, that features a rare skin disease called xeroderma pigmentosum (XP).
The main character of the film, 17-year-old Katie Price, played by Bella Thorne, is diagnosed the one in a million disease. Katie has been cooped up in her home for the majority of her childhood and all of her teen years. The skin disease she has makes her body extremely sensitive to sunlight. When exposed to the sun for too long, her life is at risk.
Katie lives with her extremely protective father Jack, played by Rob Riggle, in a well-to-do Seattle suburb. Jack has taken every precaution in order to protect her from the sunlight, from heavy duty tinted windows to a minivan with top notch protection from dangerous UV rays. The audience learns in a conversation between Jack and Katie’s doctor that it is a miracle that she has survived for so long.
All her life, Katie imagines finding love with the man of her dreams. She has watched her neighbor, Charlie, played by Patrick Schwarzenegger, from her tinted bedroom window for years, and has always had a crush on him. To keep her safely inside, however, Katie’s father always encourages her to find solace in music by playing the guitar. He suggests she play her guitar at night, when the sun is down, at the small suburban train station stop.
One night, Katie is spotted by her crush when he is on the way home from a party. Charlie notices her musical talent and beauty, and in turn, asks her out. And so begins the infamous summer fling, which ultimately leads to them falling in love.
Their nightly summer adventures lead to Katie being introduced to a world larger than she has ever known as she meets new people and experiences new places. She keeps her disease a secret from Charlie, and it eventually puts her life at risk. She is left with a heartbreaking dilemma: whether she should continue dating her soulmate, Charlie, or stay within the comforts of her home to remain safe from the sun.
Rotten Tomatoes has deemed the film “a romantic tearjerker.” A Metacritic reviewer wrote, “Such a great film, I laughed, I cried, and I also enjoyed the music. Both Thorne and Schwarzenegger’s performances were outstanding.”According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film does “an effective job of tugging at vulnerable teenage hearts, while managing to provide a few laughs along the way. None of the film rings remotely true, but the two young leads are so darn attractive and appealing that one can’t help being caught up in their characters’ poignant romance.”
The film is surely not worth of an Academy Award nomination, but is a cheesy love story teens are destined to love. Grab a box of tissues and venture off to Providence Place Mall to find out what happens to the star crossed-lovers.