Plot: An awkward high-school senior (Thomas Mann) and a gravely ill classmate (Olivia Cooke) surprise themselves by becoming inseparable friends.
Review: Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl is a coming of age movie based around a boy befriending a girl with cancer. It’s very hard to get a movie right when you mix cancer and comedy. A movie that did do it right before was 50/50 starring Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. And yes – Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl is an excellent movie. It’s about as lighthearted as it can be, while dealing with the very serious issue. I never read the book coming into this movie, so I had no expectations. With a lovable cast and a beautifully shot movie – Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl is a movie I would not want anyone to miss.
The movie follows a high-school boy named Greg who has a hard time fitting in at school. He has his own plan – to be friendly with every kid in school so that way he can somewhat be accepted by his peers. Judging by that you can already tell he doesn’t have to many friends. Greg does have one good friend, and his name is Earl. They both grew up together living in two very different households. The two of them share a passion of making movies since a very young age. I believe the two have made about 30 movies, which nobody other than the two of them have seen(Greg’s dad seems to watch them and enjoy them while they are not around).
One day Greg gets informed by his mom that a girl he knows and goes to school with is sick. She guilt trips him into going to her house and being friends with her so that way she can feel a little better. As soon as Greg gets there, he meets “the dying girl” named Rachel. I loved how Greg tried to make Rachel feel comfortable by somehow turning her sickness into jokes. Greg and Rachel hang out every single day after school. Greg then introduces Rachel to Earl and the three of them then turn inseparable. From there on out, the three of them build the ultimate friendship which leads to the ultimate test by the end of the movie.
The three young actors/actress’s are very well casted. You have Thomas Mann playing Greg. Most people watching the movie will ask themselves, “Where have i seen this guy before?”. The answer to that question would be the party movie – Project X. Mann plays the socially awkward, but warm hearted character Greg very well. You get the sense that he really is a kid that doesn’t know what to do with his life as most kids are at that age. You have actress Olivia Cooke playing ‘the dying girl” Rachel. I am a fan of Cooke who is also on a show that i really enjoy called Bates Motel. Ironic how she plays a girl with a sickness in that movie too. If anything, Cooke had the toughest job in portraying a fun and lovable girl who quickly realizes that she truly is dying. As the movie goes on, you see her character get more and more depressed. The fact you connect with her so easily, most movie goers might have to hold back the tears. My personal favorite character was in fact Earl, played by Ronald Cyler II. Earl is very much like the comic relief as most of the funny scenes do include him. We also get a great cast of other supporting actors/actress’s in Nick Offerman, Jon Bernthal, Connie Britton, and Molly Shannon who are all just fantastic. Kudos to director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon for such a good job on directing this whole bunch of great talents.
Is it me, or are these independent movies the best kind of movies? I can name a whole bunch of independent movies that are just as good as wider released movies. You have Juno, Napoleon Dynamite, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, etc. More heart seems to get put into these movies. If you are a fan of those movies – Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl is undoubtedly apart of that class. Also another good thing to point out – Jesse Andrews the author of the original novel wrote the screenplay. What better way to turn the pages into film with the guy who wrote the actual story? I give Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl a 10/10.