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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

May 14, 2018

Midnight Sun Movie Review: The Son Of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Patrick, Stars In His First Lead Role And Looks Like He's A Better Actor Than His Dad

‘MIDNIGHT SUN’ is a star-crossed teen love story that tugs at your heartstrings. It’s based on a Japanese film with the same title made in 2006. For sure, it will make suckers for sentimental romances like “A Walk to Remember”, “The Fault in Our Stars” and the 70s hit “Love Story” weep helplessly.

Katie (Bella Thorne) is a 17-year old with a rare one-in-a-million genetic disease like the heroine in “Everything Everything”. Her ailment is called XP (xeroderma pigmentosum) that makes her hyper sensitive to sunlight. She’s like a vampire who can go out only at night as direct exposure to the sun can kill her.

Her widower dad (Rob Riggle) has taken every measure to protect her from sunlight. The windows in their house are heavily tinted, but from her second-floor bedroom, the little girl Katie sees their cute neighbor, Charlie, as he walks or skateboards to school everyday. She grows up admiring him from afar while he, in turn, is not at all aware of her existence.

Then one day, they meet cute at the train station where Katie is allowed by her dad to sing and play the guitar at night. The grown up Charlie (Patrick Schwarzenegger) happens to be passing by and is attracted to her. But as he approaches her, Katie is so flustered by the sudden appearance of her childhood crush that her first impulse is to run away from him.

Fortunately for her, she left her precious journal behind and he finds it, so they have no choice but to meet again. Soon, they are falling in love in the moonlight, kissing under the stars and taking a swim in the ocean in their underwear. Ah, to be young and to be in love. There is nothing else in the world for them at this moment, especially for Katie who experiences the joy of feeling like a normal girl for the first time. She even inspires him to go back to competitive swimming to get a college scholarship, which he had to forget after he hurt his shoulder in a freak accident.

But she hasn’t told Charlie about her ailment and he had to find out about it the hard way when he takes Katie to a trip to the big city that is Seattle. They forgot the time and Katie has to outrun the rising sun. We root for them and hope there will be a miracle. Will there be a happily ever after for them?

The film is a mushy tearjerker but it somehow
works because of the likeable lead stars. Bella Thorne started as a child star on TV but we best remember her for the TV movies “Perfect High” and “The Babysitter”. She’ll next be seen in a horror movie called “Home Invasion”. She’s a good singer and has a pleasant screen presence.

Arnold’s son, Patrick, is a better version of his dad. He’s got the pedigree since his mom is Maria Shriver who comes from the Kennedy clan, her mom Eunice being the sister of John, Robert and Ted Kennedy. He has the charismatic good looks of a matinee idol and we’re happy to report that he also has more convincing facial expressions than his iron-pumping dad. Handled properly, he can have a good future in Hollywood.