Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – Movie Review

Preface

  • This movie is going to be compared A LOT to The Fault in Our Stars.
  • I actually don’t see it that way.
  • I see it more as The Spectacular Now meets The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and seeing as those are two of my all-time favorite films this movie was pretty good I’d say!

Premise

  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a film that premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival and is one that I actually got to catch a week or two early (depending on when it’s released in your area).
  • The film is about high school senior Greg who’s trying to navigate around high school and understand each of the social groups, but in the meantime his kinda acquaintance Rachel is diagnosed with leukemia. He also makes film parodies with his friend Earl (hey, they’re all in the title!) about the classics.
  • But there’s really so much happening in this movie that’s ultimately so much grander than I described that it’s hard to summarize in just a couple of bullet points.

Cast and Characters

  • I would say the cast and characters are the best part of this movie, just so long as you guys know that they aren’t the only thing that make the movie great.
  • The kid Thomas Mann who plays Greg for instance. He kinda hates himself and everyone around him, he’s in a very self-loathing place, and that would be hard to capture if it weren’t for this capable of an actor. The character’s act does tire on you after a bit, but luckily that just helps the script moving forward.
  • And Olivia Cooke is Rachel. It’s pretty sad that I’ve seen her in Bates Motel with cystic fibrosis and now in this movie with leukemia. She completely nails every scene she’s in though and makes this character extremely three-dimensional, which could have been very hard to do.
  • And RJ Cyler plays Earl, who was a very comedic character though worked extremely well not only as a character but a device in the escalation of stakes throughout the film.
  • The supporting cast was phenomenal too, and the only nitpick I could deduce is that some character might have occasionally made one too many appearances, but each time they worked for what they were doing onscreen and had great chemistry with the other characters onscreen. So I really can’t complain!

Script

  • But the star of this movie? The screenplay.
  • This movie was hilarious, but also emotional, sad, thought-provoking, and moving at times.
  • The dialogue was sharp, it was on-point and matched the personalities of these characters perfectly.
  • Not even the dialogue, but everything in this movie just flowed completely from A to B, B to C, and so on.
  • This script really made the whole movie work and was even smarter and more moving than Fault in Our Stars because it had its wits about it, though never told you that, you just knew.
  • This dialogue and plot progression also never felt like it was trying too hard to be “real.”
    • I loved The Fault in Our Stars, but I recognized that at some points it was trying so hard to be real that it was missing the mark.
    • This movie didn’t feel unrealistic for a second.

Direction

  • And the direction.
  • This movie felt like it was done by Alejandro G. Inarritu.
  • It had a lot of very bold decisions in directing, with a lot of still frames on the characters, meaning long takes.
  • In addition to some tracking shot and changes in perspective, I thought the directing was magnificent and really felt like something special.
  • The perspective changes especially were just remarkable in making you feel like you were the outsider gradually transitioning through this journey.
  • In other hands, this script may have been doomed but this film’s director knew how to make this film well and he will certainly be getting A LOT of work in the next few years.

Themes

  • If this review has left a little short, ambiguous or hollow in any way that’s because this is an incredibly hard film to talk about.
  • Not because it’s super sad or there’s a lot of spoilers but because it is.
  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is the most unique film I’ve seen since Birdman and in a long while excluding that.
  • The movie discusses what it means to be imperfect, and as a human being that is a theme every single movie goer can relate to.
  • That theme is one that you can’t even imagine how to pull off but it’s pulled off in this movie with aces.
  • And funny enough, I talked about some of the flaws this movie has, but those flaws not only make the movie great, they define it and make it even better.
  • This movie had hints of Silver Linings Playbook with this theme, in that all of its characters have some kind of social flaw that represents a part of each of us.
  • Only not just the characters in the movie have it, the actual film portrays ITSELF as flawed, which adds to the spectacle of this film and ultimately makes it more artistic, inventive, original, and brilliant.

In Conclusion

  • In Conclusion guys, there isn’t much to say other than: go see Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.
  • This is one of the Top 3, if not Top 2 Movies I’ve Seen in 2015 because of how sharp the dialogue is, how well-progressed the narrative is, how the character interactions played out in the most real possible ways, how the humor was hilarious but never took away in the slightest from the serious moments. It had one or two minor flaws but was no where near anything less than perfect.
  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is…

A 5/5

***

So have you guys heard of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, and if so are you gonna go see it when it comes out near you? Let me know in the comments down below, and as always, thanks for reading guys.

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