Verdict: A heartwarming teen romance.
Scott Speer’s Midnight Sun, remade from the 2006 Japanese film Taiyô No Uta, features the teen favorite Bella Thorne and is also the debut film of Arnold Schwarzenegger's son, Patrick Schwarzenegger. It has all the ingredients for a millennial teen romance – an attractive girl (Bella Thorne) with a not-so-normal life, the jock heartthrob (Patrick Schwarzenegger), a fun and encouraging BFF (Quinn Shephard), a loving yet concerned father (Rob Riggle), and a looming illness. But did it deliver to tug at the heartstrings like every other film in this genre? Let’s find out.
What’s Midnight Sun About:
17-year-old Katie Price (Bella Thorne) is confined to her home since childhood due to a rare genetic condition called xeroderma pigmentosum – a life-threatening sensitivity to sunlight. Having only her father Jack (Rob Riggle) and BFF Morgan (Quinn Shephard) for company, she only ventures out at night to play her guitar at the train station.
One night, her dreams come true when she comes face to face with her longtime crush Charlie (Patrick Schwarzenegger) at that very train station. As they embark on nightly summer excursions, Katie’s risk to sunlight grows and she’s presented with the gut-wrenching dilemma of whether she can live a normal life with her newfound soul mate.
Tucked away behind thick UV-blocking windows nearly all her life, Katie continues to dream of the times she would sit on the beach and play music in the arms of her mother. Her craving for something as simple as sitting in the warmth of the sunlight really makes her a sympathetic character. She keeps her condition a secret from Charlie because she doesn’t want to be defined by her disease. As she continues to battle with sunlight, she also fights to deal with her own mortality. And we don’t just experience this from Katie’s point of view. We see the three people that mean the most to her trying to cope with the situation as well. Director Scott Speer makes us empathize with the characters while also appealing to those relatable nobody-understands-me-like-you feelings that teens crave from first love.
What Could’ve Been Better:
Midnight Sun features the common trope of a teen couple coming to terms with a life-threatening disease. Because of this, it can get overly sentimental and predictable in some parts. Although it may seem cheesy, this film is loveable for its sincere heart.
Why You Should Watch It:
Midnight Sun is a must watch if you enjoy a case of tear-jerking puppy love between a pair of good-looking teenagers mixed with just the right amount of melodrama.