Me And Earl And The Dying Girl
Starring: Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke, RJ Cyler, Nick Offerman, Jon Bernthal
Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
The Skinny: Geeky high school senior Greg (Mann) prefers to keep his friendships shallow, even calling his best friend Earl (Cyler) his 'co-worker'. This all changes when he befriends Rachel (Cooke), a classmate who has been diagnosed with leukemia. Suddenly, Greg finds himself experiencing deep bonds for the first time but struggles with confronting Rachel's mortality.
Generally speaking, I don't want to see movies about dying people. They're sad.
Then again, pretty much every movie is about dying people, as we're all going to die - even the elves and vampires.
Me And Earl And The Dying Girl is an interesting sort of companion piece to last year's The Fault In Our Stars, a romantic drama about two teen cancer patients.
This one is a teen comedy about a high school boy who befriends a classmate with cancer.
They're obviously two very different movies but at the same time explore similar themes.
They'd make for a very bittersweet double feature.
Our hero Mann has a very Michael Cera vibe, with a bit of Michael Angarano (Sky High) thrown in.
He's a nerdy-looking kid and a lot of young guys will relate to him.
I guess you have to look like Ansel Elgort from The Fault In Our Stars if you want to seriously woo the terminally-ill ladies.
The one problem I had with the flick is that it's a bit self-congratulatory.
It's slightly embarrassing for a film-maker to make a movie about a cancer patient whose dying wish is to watch a movie her dorky pal is making for her.
Sorry, guy, but your job ain't that big a deal.
Me And Earl And The Dying Girl is charming but I think there should have been more Dying Girl and less Me.
You expect to cry watching Me And Earl And The Dying Girl, not laugh.
While no movie about a teen with cancer is going to miss the chance to make audiences weep, this one at least balances out the morose, depressing moments with a healthy dose of jokes.
For instance, Greg and Earl are huge movie buffs, and spend their time making bad parodies of classic films. Sample titles: A Sockwork Orange and Pooping Tom.
The mini movies are quite artfully bad and remind me of school projects I used to do with friends, making fake blood and ruining old school uniforms to make the worst tribute to Battle Royale in history.
A running joke between Greg and Rachel is about how Greg secretly wants to "express himself" on her pillows. It sounds gross, but if you watch the movie, you'll understand why it's actually quite hilarious.
We like the honesty about bodily functions and what is truly on a teenage boy's mind. And also the funny and profound moments, quirky dialogue and general feel-good vibe.
Alas, because Me And Earl And The Dying Girl focuses solely on the friendship between its leads, you don't get to watch Greg and Rachel snog.
Which is too bad because they genuinely are sweet together. She looks like a young Jessica Alba and he looks like a taller, skinnier Michael Cera.
They say three's a crowd but Me And Earl And The Dying Girl are worth joining.
Check out other movies that opened on September 3 here.
This article was first published on September 2, 2015.
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