The reason most people go to the movies is simple, they want to get away, be entertained, maybe have a few laughs, and in some cases a good cry. While I do love movies on different, deeper levels for different personal reasons, I go for the same basic reasons everyone goes. Knowing what I was getting into based on the trailer of “Midnight Sun” it felt like it would be Niagara Falls in the theater, so it was something I was genuinely looking forward to.
When it comes to time on this earth it is often said, by a wizard or wise old man that it’s not about the time we have, but what we do with that time that’s important. Katie (Bella Thorne) has never had a normal life because of a disease called XP which has robbed her of something we take for granted. You see XP prevents Katie from being exposed to the sun which has made her watch the world through her dark filtered window. While most kids would make up stories why she didn’t come outside during the day, one girl named Morgan (Quinn Shephard) took a chance and became best friends with Katie. So while she didn’t go outside often, her life with as normal as it could be thanks to Morgan and Kate’s father Jack (Rob Riggle) who might go down as coolest dad ever. Katie’s life though is about to change when she meets Charlie (Patrick Schwarzenegger) a boy she always had a crush on from the days of him walking past her house to school every day. Katie though doesn’t tell Charlie the truth about her condition and keeps their dates to an evening affair. All that changes when they stay out one night too long as Katie’s truth comes out and new decisions about their relationship has to be made that will shape their lives forever.
A movie like this has one goal and that is to pull on those ol’ heart strings. While that might be the intended goal, for me the pull felt like more of a nudge as the expected result never really hit me. Now before you say I have no heart, movies bring me to tears quite often, something I even experienced with a trailer not long ago. “Midnight Sun” is in the simplest terms nothing special, but at the same time not the worst thing you will see. The script which was written by Eric Kirsten has its holes and feels like it wraps up faster than it should have. The story though is not the only weak point as Thorne is ok and Patrick Schwarzenegger is channeling his famous father’s earlier work and unfortunately, shows very little personality. The high point in Riggle who lightens the film up often and the movie is always better when he is in the scene, the only problem with that is, it’s not his movie.
I really expected that I would enjoy this and while it is by all means forgettable, it should not be dismissed as dying art. It seems that there is a clone copy of a movie like this one popping up every month amidst the barrage of superheores and sequels, and my guess is that they only appear so often because there is indeed a market and in some cases a call for them. The idea of young love marred by obstacles has been with us since Romeo & Juliet, and while “Midnight Sun” is nowhere near that mark, it manages to radiate enough heat to keep the candle burning long enough for the next one.