Me and Earl and the Dying Girl REVIEW



Me and Earl and the Dying Girl follows Greg Gaines who has survived four years in the dangerous landmines of high school by befriending but not sticking to different cliques. He remains widely invisible, eating lunch in a teacher’s room with best friend Earl, with whom he makes terrible movie parodies in their free time. When Greg is forced by his mom to befriend Rachel, a girl with leukemia, his life is turned upside down as he stumbles through the awkwardness of teenage years.

Initially, I had a mixed reaction to the film, but the more I thought about it, the more it grew on me. It’s a breath of fresh air to see something so candid and honest in its depiction of how teenagers react to different things, not to mention the platonic friendship between Greg and Rachel. What’s wonderful is that Me and Earl and the Dying Girl doesn’t try to be something it’s not. It doesn’t aspire to deliver a life-changing message or whack you over the head with morals. Instead, it effortlessly avoids stereotypes and strips the fluff. You experience emotions you can’t quite put into words as you watch quirky characters trying to put their scrambled thoughts into words.

The reviewer at Variety called the film’s hilarity “a surprise.” Clearly he did not read the book. Fans of the book will be thrilled that many of the book’s off-the-wall-hilarious lines made it into the movie. With added details that—do I dare say it—make the plot even stronger, the movie will please readers and non-readers alike.

The acting is superb. It’s completely believable that Thomas Mann and Olivia Cooke and RJ Cyler are actually Greg, Rachel, and Earl consecutively with their boy/girl-next-door persona. Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon showcases his unique style in the skillful camera work and the way each scene is shot. Although this sometimes detracts from the character interactions, it adds another dimension to the film that is a bit meta, as Greg is a filmmaker after all. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl might just be a cult classic favorite in generations to come.


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About Cassandra Hsiao

Cassandra Hsiao is a sophomore at Yale University. Her college application essay has reached millions across the world and factored into her acceptance by all 8 Ivy League Universities. She’s an award-winning on-camera & print journalist in entertainment and character-driven long-form narrative. As a playwright, she has seen her work come to life across the United States. Instagram/Twitter: @cassandrahsiao Facebook: Blog:

Posted on July 9, 2015, in Movie Reviews. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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