Me And Earl And The Dying Girl (2015, not yet released/released June 12, 2015)
Written by Jesse Andrews
Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
“So, if this was a touching, romantic story our eyes would meet, and suddenly we would be furiously making out with the fire of a thousand suns. But, this isn’t a a touching, romantic story.“
As many of you who know me, or read me here at lyriquediscorde.com know, I am a huge fan of indie films, and also of stories about adolescence and coming-of-age. When I first saw an extended trailer to Me And Earl And The Dying Girl during an outdoor showing of John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club I knew instantly that I’d want to see this film, and was damn near certain I would love it. When I received an invitation to an early screening to the film I was more than happy to attend, and even happier to find that I was right. I loved it. As I told the representative from the Fox Searchlight when he asked what I’d thought, the movie is poetically beautiful, and well, awesome.
Although one of the film’s leads is dying (no spoiler here, all you need is to read the title), this movie is not about death at all. Instead, it is about friendship, about dreams, about finding oneself, and about stepping outside of oneself, even if it is vulnerable and scary as hell to do so, and be there, and be you, for someone else. In a way it is about love, though this is not a love story. It is about family and friends, about growing up, about gain and loss, and about pushing through it all to grab hold of your future.
One of the things I loved about this film is the cinematography. We are meant to see this film through the “Me” in the title, namely Greg Gaines, a teenager who is completely awkward and self-deprecating, and who has spent his High School years cleverly staying unattached to anyone, hiding within knowing everyone, and I mean everyone, in a surface, acquaintance kind of way. Even Earl, who by all rights is his best friend, he keeps at arm’s length, referring to him as his co-worker. Well, the filming of this movie keeps your focus as Greg sees things, often using crooked, off-kilter shots, too close close-ups, and strange angles to keep the feeling of awkardness and not belonging in the scene a reality to the viewer, because that is how Greg feels all the time. It works, oh my stars it works.
The supporting cast in this film is phenomenal, especially Nick Offerman, as Greg’s Father, Jon Bernthal, as Greg and Earl’s off-kilter History teacher, and reluctant mentor. Molly Shannon and Connie Britton give amazing performances, too. All that said, though, this film really belongs to our three leads – Me (Greg, played by ), Earl, and the Dying Girl (Rachel).
I don’t want to give away too much about this movie. Honestly, I do not want to give away any of it. Instead I will just urge you to go see it when its released in early June, and take all its poetic beauty, awkward adolescent angst, and subtle wonder that it unravels. I guarantee you will be moved.