Going to the movies is a way to escape reality for a brief time – to get so joyfully sucked into a plotline, you forget all your troubles for a short bit. However, during the movie “Midnight Sun,” I found myself painfully aware that I was in a movie theater, watching a lousy movie. I was so unconvinced of the plot, acting and screenplay that I found myself hysterically laughing throughout this romantic drama.
Patrick Schwarzenegger plays a popular high school jock (Charlie) who falls in love at first sight with Bella Thorne’s character, Katie, an aspiring musician. Katie lives with a rare disease, Xeroderma pigmentosum (XP), that makes her fatally sensitive to UV light. The two immediately begin seeing each other at night time and share some of the most excruciatingly corny and unrealistic moments of a teen relationship: going to Katie’s first concert, performing on the streets of Seattle and going swimming in a lake at 3 a.m. All of these scenes were bereft of convincing passion, ecstasy or believable conversation.
Both Thorne and Schwarzenegger displayed mediocre acting skills at best, which, fortunately, did provide a good belly laugh here and there. If this movie was less of a romantic drama and more of a comedic parody of melodramatic teen romance movies, it might have been a hit.
With Katie, a songwriter and damsel in distress with a deceased parent, rescued by the jock with a heart, this plot felt like every other teen movie out there. This unoriginality reeks of a hybrid between “Twilight” and perhaps “Camp Rock” (although “Camp Rock” had better music). Rob Riggle, as Katie’s father, Jack, underwhelmed in terms of believability. His emotional stability did not seem true to a man who has already lost his wife and has one child with low odds of living. Katie and Jack had an uncomfortably close relationship; there was a lot of awkward touching between the two. Jack even had a darkroom filled with photography of Katie. Occasionally, you couldn’t decide if you were following a romance between Katie and Charlie or Katie and Jack.
The lack of character development for everyone in the film was mockable. We didn’t find out that Charlie had parents or a family until about three quarters of the way into the movie. Katie lost her mother and suffers from XP, and Charlie used to swim and then got injured – and has very little interest in the head cheerleader pining after him. That’s almost all the information the film gives us to get a sense of our two main characters; they had no evident personality traits. XP, a real disease, was incorrectly represented when Thorne experienced “neurodegeneration” after about a millisecond of sunlight exposure. Simultaneously, Katie looked nothing like a real victim of XP does. I’m sure this saddens any real life sufferers of Xeroderma pigmentosum. On top of all these fundamental blunders, I have to say, one of the things that made the movie so hard to watch was Thorne’s tragic lip injections. I give Midnight Sun one out of five stars, they earned that star for the fun I had laughing at and mocking them.