The teen drama film Words on Bathroom Walls dives into the life of high school senior Adam Petrazelli (Charlie Plummer), who is found to have schizophrenia. In the beginning of the film, one of the teen’s vivid hallucinations about flying glass in the chemistry lab causes him to injure a classmate. He gets kicked out of his high school, leading him to enroll is St. Agatha’s Catholic School.
Adam’s delusions sometimes get the best of him. He sometimes hears eerie voices and even has three “imaginary” friends representing his conscience in a way (they represent toughness, horniness, and positivity/encouragement, while played by Lobo Sebastian, Devin Bostick, and AnnaSophia Robb, respectively). In fact, one of the teen’s vivid hallucinations saw the room in which he was in to enroll at St. Agatha’s begin to catch on fire.
Adam begins taking an experimental drug in hopes of controlling his delusions at St. Agatha’s. Though everyone around him in the past may have seen him as someone with an illness, Adam is determined to make a different impression here.
He meets an intelligent, hard-working girl named Maya (Taylor Russell) at his new school. She helps him see new perspectives on life. The two slowly develop a strong relationship with each other, and Maya technically also tutors Adam too. Her presence seems to soothe him, and his grades begin to steadily improve through the decrease of hallucinations.
Nothing resembles a stronger bond between these two than when Maya stands up to an arrogant former classmate of Adam’s at a restaurant. Despite her valedictorian status, Maya’s family is struggling financially. And she is seemingly the breadmaker as her dad is on crutches and she has two little brothers. She works hard in school and has a job to help her family stay afloat.
These two teens, who are struggling in different ways at this point in their life, deal with their pains together and look to come out strong. In other words, this film is simply moving and takes viewers on a journey through the lives of someone with an illness and a girl who tries to help him realize that he is no different than any other human.
In life, you choose who you want to be. Though Adam is labeled with an illness and considered different by others, aren’t all humans flawed? There is no such thing as the perfect person. But what makes someone more perfect is admitting you have flaws and that you are willing to face them. Adam is not the illness.
No matter who you are or what you are going through, this movie teaches the value of dreams. Adam loves to cook and dreams of becoming a chef. Cooking makes him who he wants to be. He’s in control when cooking and it’s his passion.
In one scene between Adam and Maya, he explains to her (while he makes something for her) that cooking should have no recipe. And you must go with the flow when making something and assessing the ingredients and quantities needed.
Adam’s delusions sometimes get the best of him.
Word on Bathroom Walls is relatable to life because life has no script, we all must go with the flow and the moment. As Adam and Maya learn a lot from each other during their senior year, their friendship turns into romance. And because of Maya’s presence, Adam conquers high school and begins culinary school right after he graduates. Dreams can come true no matter who you are because we are all human and we all have dreams we want to accomplish.
Noises and hallucinations can still appear. But they can go away by closing the door and being put out of sight. Therefore, they can disappear like the Words on Bathroom Walls.