Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a small 2015 independent film which you probably won't see-- and that's a shame. It's very small, and in my city barely playing anywhere. Having read the book, I was excited to see this movie but also had my doubts. Would the movie keep the humor? Would it keep its occasionally raunchy characters instead of cashing in realism for a PG-PG13 rating?
My expectations were exceeded. This film is better than anything else playing right now, including Pixar's Inside Out, which I also loved.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is about a teenager named Greg (Thomas Mann) who is forced by his mom to befriend a girl named Rachel (Olivia Cooke) who has just been diagnosed with Leukemia. The movie is mainly about their relationship, along with the occasional visit with Greg's best friend, Earl (RJ Cyler). Greg and Earl also like making short films parodying other movies (A Sockwork Orange, Pooping Tom) and eventually are told they should make a film about Rachel.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is mainly about the relationship between Greg and Rachel, as I said previously, and all scenes between these two are great. Both Thomas Mann and Olivia Cooke deliver great performances in this movie, enhanced by the fact that lots of their scenes are long takes without camera cuts every 5 seconds. Most of the time, they are simply just talking to each other without doing anything. It might sound boring, but it stays cinematic and engaging the entire time, while still keeping the dialogue true to life.
The camerawork in this movie is great. It is inspired by other filmmakers. As I already mentioned, there are long takes, which remind me of multiple filmmakers, birds-eye shots which remind me of Quentin Tarantino, fast pans that remind me of Edgar Wright, and plenty of others. It also reminds me of myself in some ways, considering the main character likes making short movies, something he shares with me. This movie is also very funny. The movie parodies they make all have really funny titles and I've only told you two of them. Earl is also really funny to watch, plus the situations Greg and Earl get into are really funny. There is also some great visual imagery throughout the film, which is used in funny ways.
The story is extremely heartfelt and beautiful. Some people might compare it to The Fault in our Stars, another film about a relationship between people with cancer, but it's not. While The Fault in our Stars focuses on the romance between the two, this film focuses on the friendship. (And Greg doesn't have cancer, either).
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is my favorite movie of the year so far. It's not life-changing or thought-provoking, but it's a great story, and entertaining as hell. Go see it, if you haven't already. I will definitely watch it again myself.