Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015)
High schooler Greg, who spends most of his time making parodies of classic movies with his co-worker Earl, finds his outlook forever altered after befriending a classmate who has just been diagnosed with cancer.
Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Writers: Jesse Andrews (novel), Jesse Andrews (screenplay)
Stars: Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler, Olivia Cooke | See full cast and crew
Seventeen-year-old Greg has managed to become part of every social group at his Pittsburgh high school without having any friends, but his life changes when his mother forces him to befriend Rachel, a girl he once knew in Hebrew school who has leukemia.
I have to start my review with discussing the inevitable comparisons with "The Fault in Our Stars". John Green fans would find it blasphemous to say this is a superior film but it certainly is. I don't think that I can argue that the characters in TFIOS are more realistic, but the whole unique style and quirkiness of MAEATDG make it a true classic of the teen genre like "The Breakfast Club" or "Breaking Away". It as important as many of the films to which Earl and Greg pay homage with their own hilarious versions.
So many of the same subjects that one finds in any film about the coming of age of high school students exist in this film, but the director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon puts his own stamp on what could otherwise be called cliché. Kudos to Gomez-Rejon whose previous work has been with several Fox TV shows. He should have a good career in film from here on out.
Olivia Cooke as Rachel, Thomas Mann as Greg, and RJ Cyler as Earl are all fantastic. I was familiar with Olivia Cooke before but not the other two. I expect to see a lot more from all of them.
The adults are all superbly cast as well. Molly Shannon spends the movie with a glass of white wine in one hand drowning the pain of dealing with her daughter's plight. Connie Briton and Nick Offerman are wonderful as Greg's parents, with Nick showing that the eccentricities of the child do not fall far from the tree.