Why ‘All The Bright Places’ on Netflix is Important

I’d been waiting for the movie adaptation of All The Bright Places since 2015–when I finished the book, googled it, then found out Elle Fanning was casted to play Violet. 

Shortly after, I had the privilege of volunteering at the Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival as an author’s assistant for Jennifer Niven (author of All The Bright Places). I went to the festival a couple years prior then found volunteer opportunities. Being able to spend the day with her was truly a magical experience because not only are we still in contact today, but I was able to witness how the book was gradually turning into a huge inspiration.

Side note: if you skip to 12:24 in the film, you will spot my forehead next to some snazzy lockers. ;) Yes, that’s right! MY FOREHEAD IS IN THE MOVIE. I had the most amazing opportunity to visit the set and be an extra in the movie with my brother and sister. It was a long day but seeing all the effort put into making sure the story resembles Jennifer’s was freaking phenomenal. 

Okay, so you’re probably thinking that I have a biased opinion regarding the story (and you may be right!). But as someone who has witnessed the growth of the book and the responses it’s received, I want to highlight why I think this story is important to have on Netflix.

  1. 1. Mental health in the media has been stigmatized

    It’s very rare that the media’s portrayal of mental illness is accurate. Sometimes it’s brushed aside or somehow the character is magically OKAY at some point in the story.

    But we need more of it in the media! Everyone experiences mental health in various ways and it’s important to properly show that people aren’t alone. All The Bright Places presents mental health in a real and raw way. It shows that there is hope but at the same time, people with mental illness don’t just magically recover. It’s a process.

  2. 2. It is a love story that DOES NOT romanticize mental illness

    It’s a story about two people who are struggling and fall in love. Romance isn’t the cure or a savior in the story. It’s a real story about a boy Jennifer knew and loved and how to recognize when someone needs help. 

  3. 3. The movie SHOWS that we should not take mental illness lightly

    The movie represents how important it is to help someone who might be suffering. By having this story on Netflix, All The Bright Places is able to spread this message and visually tell a story about humans who are struggling to a broad audience. It shows how difficult it is to recognize that someone might be struggling in silence. The movie has a broad range of characters who struggle in different ways. Not everyone experiences mental health in the same way and All The Bright Places tells us this

  4. 4. It tells us how you are MORE than your mental illness

    The emphasis on being more than the labels society throws at us is presented so beautifully in this film. It shows that when people are labeled as something, society dismisses them. But the movie allows us to recognize that you are more than your illness. You are human.

I hope you take a moment to watch All The Bright Places on Netflix because it is truly a beautiful and raw story about mental illness. And it’s so important to spread the film’s message so society becomes more aware to help those who are struggling. You are not alone. 

Please visit https://www.allthebrightplacesfilm.info/ for information regarding resources and support. 

xx Kenzie