Everyone Can Use Some More Love –
FEBRUARY 28, 2020 – Elle, who plays Violet Markey, has actually been involved with the project for years (she’s also a producer on the film). She first read the book by Jennifer Niven at 14 (she’s 21 now) and related to the emotions in the story, eventually filming the adaptation a year and a half ago. The novel follows Violet, a teenager who is reeling from the loss of her sister, who died in a car accident both girls were involved in. After her classmate Theodore Finch (Justice) stops Violet from attempting suicide, the two bond over a school project that takes them to interesting “wonders” in Indiana: a small rollercoaster, a tree laden with pairs of shoes.
As Finch and Violet fall in love, they both learn to experience life differently, with more openness to new experiences. Simultaneously, Violet learns more about Finch’s family history, while Finch himself is struggling to stay “awake,” one of the ways he refers to symptoms of bipolar disorder. The movie doesn’t label Finch’s mental illness, but as the National Alliance on Mental Illness wrote about the novel, “Readers can see that what Finch is going through is bipolar disorder even though ‘depression’ and ‘mania’ are never mentioned, and he doesn’t receive his diagnosis until well into the book. Instead, Niven uses terms like ‘Awake,’ ‘Long Drop’ and ‘Asleep’ to describe the cycles of his mood.”
As readers of the book will know, Finch ultimately dies by suicide, and Violet finds a way through her grief over his death to embrace the lessons he taught her and the love he had for her. The movie itself is part coming-of-age story…