John Green’s ‘Turtles All the Way Down’ Trailer Shows Young Love Blossoming in the Face of Anxiety | Video

Isabela Merced, Cree and Felix Mallard star in the Max movie from director Hannah Marks

Max released the trailer for “Turtles All the Way Down,” the movie based on John Green’s 2017 young adult novel, on Wednesday ahead of its May 2 premiere.

According to the film’s official synopsis, “‘Turtles All the Way Down’ tackles anxiety through its 17-year-old protagonist, Aza Holmes (Isabela Merced). It’s not easy being Aza, but she’s trying… trying to be a good daughter, a good friend and a good student, all while navigating an endless barrage of invasive, obsessive thoughts that she cannot control. When she reconnects with Davis (Felix Mallard), her childhood crush, Aza is confronted with fundamental questions about her potential for love, happiness, friendship and hope.”

In the new trailer for the Hannah Marks-directed movie, Merced’s voice immediately plunges viewers into the mind of a young girl with an anxiety disorder, intrusive thoughts fighting through her brain.

“Your body is nothing but a host to a massive collection of parasitic organisms ready to cause infection, ready to cause infection, ready to cause infection,” the thought echoes as microscopic shots of bacteria play in a montage with Merced’s Aza walking down her school hallway. “You can feel them living and breeding and dying inside of you.”

Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy” plays in the background as Aza’s best friend Daisy Ramirez (Cree) asks if she just went through a thought spiral. Aza’s fear of bacteria is a constant in her life, especially in scenarios like when she and Daisy canoe down the White River in Indiana.

Aza’s psychiatrist (Poorna Jagannathan) encourages her that “plenty of people with anxiety disorders have fulfilling romantic relationships.” Cut to Mallard as Davis Pickett, an old friend from Camp Marigold, a space for children who have lost parents at an early age.

“I can’t date anyone, you know that,” Aza tells Daisy, who replies, “I don’t know that. Why can’t you?”

On a double date, Aza panics as a barrage of negative thoughts tell her, “You can’t have a boyfriend. You can’t go to college. You can’t even control your own brain.”

From left to right: Isabela Merced and Felix Mallard in "Turtles All the Way Down" (Max)
From left to right: Isabela Merced and Felix Mallard in “Turtles All the Way Down” (Max)

When Davis eventually asks Aza why it’s so easy to talk to her, she suggests that it’s “maybe because our hearts are broken in the same places.”

Daisy then encourages Aza to kiss Davis to prevent her from thinking about the 80 million microbes in Davis’ body in the moment. “Aza, for once in your life, do not overthink this,” she says.

Watch the full trailer, below:


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