Time Out says
A nocturnal YA romance that'll have you yearning for the roughneck edge of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen.
After the ‘Twilight’ saga, we’re well used to young adult romances involving mysterious, pale sun-dodgers with attractive depths. The twist with this one is that there’s nothing supernatural about nocturnal teenage guitarist Katie (Bella Thorne). She suffers from a rare genetic disorder called xeroderma pigmentosum (XP), which means her body is unable to repair the damage caused by ultraviolet light. In other words, the sun can literally kill her.
It’s an extreme obstacle to put in the way of her finding happiness with childhood crush Charlie – a boy she’s watched from her window most of her life, and who’s grown into the handsome form of Patrick ‘Son of Arnold’ Schwarzenegger – but certainly a novel one. (Although, it’s worth noting this is a relatively straight adaptation of 2006 Japanese teen drama ‘Taiyo No Uta’, not that its target audience will have seen the original, of course.)
To be frank, it’s about the only aspect of this story that lends it any distinction. ‘Midnight Sun’ is, otherwise, a bland mix of familiar types (the caring, doofus Dad; the quirky best friend who wears woolly hats indoors) who all trundle along the rails of a predictable plot, which relies on Katie preposterously keeping her illness a secret from Charlie until it inevitably catches up with her in a Cinderella-ish manner.
Leads Thorne and Schwarzenegger are mildly charming in a TV-soap way, but it’s all so desperately clean and savoury (even her XP is photogenic – unlike in reality). They struggle to hold your interest, let alone earn your tears. Chances are, you’ll be less affected by the tragic romance than distracted by the irksome little plot lapses. Where, for example, did Katie and Charlie get the blankets they wrap around themselves on the beach after a spontaneous night-time swim in their undies? Maybe she is supernatural.
Cast and crew