“Although the characters are hard to stomach at times, the story is wonderful and it is worth a watch.”
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a film that I have heard nothing but good things about, so last night I decided to finally watch it. The story follows Greg, a high-school senior who is forced by his mom to hang out with a girl named Rachel who was recently diagnosed with leukaemia. The movie then follows their relationship, as well as Greg’s relationship with his “co-worker” Earl who he has known since kindergarten and with whom he makes parody films (such as “Senior Citizen Kane”).
The movie has one glaring issue to me and that is the fact that all of the characters act immature. I understand that it has a place in the story (all of the characters being in high-school), and it allows the characters to “grow up” during the course of the story, but it is something that I couldn’t quite shake. It seemed that every interaction between characters was either extremely awkward, or the solution would have been as easy as them talking to one another. I’m not a huge fan of the “teen drama” genre, and though I liked this movie I couldn’t help but feel that it would have been much better had it attempted to stray further from the confines of the genre. The story itself is pretty adult, and sure some of the plot revolves around the characters still being “childish”, but the movie consistently felt weaker because of how the characters would act. I did thoroughly enjoy the story of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl because it did feel mature for the characters (which I suppose is expected of a a coming of age story). Unfortunately the ending of the movie, though it was emotionally taxing, felt to regress back into the “basic” teen-drama, sacrificing a lot of its charm. I enjoyed that the movie payed homage to many different filmmakers, as well as film genres, because it fits well with the story and the characters. It had a nice balance of different “tropes” (for lack of a better word) without over doing them, or making them too painfully obvious. The camera work was phenomenal, some angles even paying as their own homage to different films. The acting in the movie was tremendous, every character doing their part so to speak. Despite the characters being a little obnoxious (as previously stated), I felt that the leads did an amazing job at conveying emotion and the movie had a lot of pretty famous actors in it which surprised me. I want to touch on one performance/story in particular and that is the story of Greg. It may sound cliche but I had a very personal connection with Greg throughout the movie. Not because I had a friend who was diagnosed with cancer or anything, but because throughout the movie Greg is lost and has to find his way through the world after high-school. That portion of the story, as well as the terrific acting by Thomas Mann, really made me connect with the movie on a personal level.
Overall Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a movie that shouldn’t be dismissed as “just another teen drama”. Although the characters are hard to stomach at times, the story is wonderful and it is worth a watch.
I give Me and Earl and the Dying Girl a B