One of the films to show up on Prime, I didn’t see this one for quite a while. But then I did and while it may not be a new favorite, it’s worth its 90 minutes.
Words on Bathroom Walls (2020) Film Review
For a long time now, Adam (Charlie Plummer) isn’t normal by definition. You see, he has schizophrenia, a chemical brain imbalance, and he’s seen the inside of multiple schools. His latest and according to his mother (Molly Parker), his “last chance” school is a private Catholic school that takes him provided he remain on medication. For a while the meds work, but then the crippling effects are so much worse than the voices (AnnaSophia Robb, Lobo Sebastian, Devon Bostick) in Adam’s head. Plus, now he hears a voice so evil it prompts him to hurt himself, a new change that Adam believes is worse because of his mother’s live-in, Paul (Walton Goggins).
At school, the one bright spot in Adam’s world is Maya (Taylor Russell), a pretty girl who has a secret of her own and a little side hustle.‘WORDS ON BATHROOM WALLS’: AN EMOTIONAL & ABSORBED ADAPTATION #MOVIES #AMAZONPRIME #DRAMA #TEENDRAMA #ADAPTATION Click To Tweet
In addition to not rushing to see this, I also watched it in more than one part. It captures my attention early on, but as the subject material is heavier than most young adult novel adaptations (like The DUFF), it isn’t as easy to enjoy. This is more alike something like The Fault in Our Stars in terms of its impact and emotional upheaval, though it’s not nearly as sad.
The film has a good story, though I’ve zero idea if it’s accurate or not, and is also based on a novel by Julia Walton (and it’s pretty popular in terms of ratings on Goodreads). As a movie, the story is compelling and emotional. I feel the moments of tension and pain in the scenes between Adam and his mom, and I appreciate the sweetness of the romance in the film. (Plus, there’s bonus points for the fact that Never Been Kissed is the favorite movie.)
I will say, I’m not overly fond of how Charlie Plummer plays the role. That said, maybe it’s very accurate and authentic to the character. Everyone else is quite good especially the parents, and though I don’t think I’ve seen her in anything, I like Taylor Russell in the role. If you don’t mind more angsty drama, you’ll enjoy Words on Bathroom Walls. It’s not something that I love every little thing about, but it has good points and moments between, and for, the characters.
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Content: There’s not much to note. There’s some innuendo and profanity (1-2 uses of the F-word). Teens get up to no good with cheating, parties, etc. Of course, there’s also the prominent theme of schizophrenia and the elements that come with this; hospitalization, medication, arguments at home, yelling, a fall that may or may not be a suicide attempt, etc. The film is PG-13.