Taylor Russell and Charlie Plummer in \"Words On Bathroom Walls,\" which producers and distributors say will open Aug. 21 at the AMC Coral Ridge 10 Theatres Fort Lauderdale, AMC Pembroke Lakes 9 Pembroke Pines and the Regal Broward Stadium 12 Plantation.

Regal New River Valley in Christiansburg reopened its doors to the public in August with new health and safety measures in place. Virginia is currently in the third phase of reopening where movie theaters can reopen at 50% capacity. Regal New River Valley has been closed since March of this year because of the coronavirus.

In order to not spread the virus, Regal is requiring employees and customers to wear masks at all times. Employees are required to wash their hands every 30 to 60 minutes depending on which job they have and have to undergo daily health screenings that include temperature checks. 

If you want to get food at the concession stand, customers can now order food ahead of time on the Regal mobile app. To maintain social distancing, every other register is closed, self-service condiment stands are closed and refills on drinks and popcorn are currently suspended. For now the menu has been reduced to ensure the safety of the customers.

I’ve never liked sitting next to people in a movie theater, so having two seats between each group and 50% capacity in the auditorium was a plus. Inside the theater everyone had to wear their masks at all times except to eat. Despite the new rules there were people in the theater who chose not to wear their masks. I felt uneasy about this because I worry about the customers who will rebel. 

Last week I got the chance to see the film “Words on Bathroom Walls,” based on the book of the same name, starring Charlie Plummer. “Words on Bathroom Walls” is about a teenage boy named Adam,  who suffers from the mental disorder schizophrenia. After being expelled from school for accidentally burning his lab partner during a psychotic break, Adam’s mom enrolls him in a Catholic school where he meets his love interest, Maya. 

I loved the fact that Maya was a person of color and that their relationship was interracial because that is something you don’t see a lot in blockbuster movies and especially with the main characters.

Through his disorder Adam hears voices and sees visions of black clouds and three people.  The first person is Rebecca, a hippie and the voice of reason. The second person is Joaquin, who is the best friend, and the third is The Bodyguard who protects Adam whenever he feels he is in trouble. To treat his schizophrenia Adam starts to take a new drug.

I believe that making Adam schizophrenic was a good choice on the author’s part because it is an illness that is rarely given to the main character of a big film, and especially not in a lighthearted way. Also the characters he sees were entertaining and a good comedic relief to a touchy subject.

Despite the drug actually working, Adam is dissatisfied with the side effects. One of them is loss of taste, which to Adam is a big deal since he hopes to become a chef. I don’t want to spoil the end of the movie, but the climax of the film, leaves viewers on the edge of their seats.

The audience can really get inside Adam’s head and can feel, see and hear everything that happens to him because of his illness and can understand that the illness doesn’t define him. I believe this film shows that having a mental illness doesn’t make you weird or crazy, and it should be more normalized. Overall, I think that this film can relate to a lot of people who are also struggling with mental illness and shows that you shouldn’t be ashamed of it. However I do feel  that they were dramatizing Adam’s disorder when it should’ve been more serious, and I also felt that Adam’s hallucinations were a little cartoon like.

“Words on Bathroom Walls” received a 88% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes with critics applauding the film’s approach in the subject of mental illness.

If you are looking to see a film that will pull at your heartstrings and have you rooting for the underdog, I would suggest “Words on Bathroom Walls” and to check out Regal Cinemas under their new reopening plan. I give “Words on Bathroom Walls” 4/5 stars.

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