Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is the film adaption of the 2012 novel of the same name by Jesse Andrew. The film follows high school student Greg Gaines (Thomas Mann) during his senior year or as he puts it, the year that “destroyed my life.” In the film, Greg is forced by his mother to hang out with Rachel (Olivia Cooke), a girl who has been diagnosed with leukemia, and that eventually sparks a friendship between Greg, his longtime “coworker” Earl (RJ Cyler), and Rachel—hence the title, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.
So far, this film is my favorite movie of the year and maybe one of my favorites ever. I strongly advise all of you to go check it out but if my mini synopsis wasn’t convincing enough, below there are eight reasons why you need to see Me and Earl and the Dying Girl immediately.
- It was a big winner at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
At the 31st Sundance Film Festival, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl won the Grand Jury Prize for a U.S. Drama and the Audience Award for a U.S. Drama, which in the past has gone to critically acclaimed films such as Whiplash (2014), Fruitvale Station (2013) and Beast of the Southern Wild (2012). Just in the past three years, two out of the three films named above were honored with Best Picture nominations at the Oscars and if you ask me, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, is even better than any of the films mentioned. Okay, it may be tied with Whiplash but Whiplash is one of the most intense/phenomenal pieces of work that I have ever seen. Therefore, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and Whiplash are tied for perfection in my eyes. By the way, if you haven’t seen Whiplash yet, read the remainder of this post and then watch it immediately. Now back to Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. I have a strong feeling that this film will receive some sort of prestigious nomination when award season arrives. If it isn’t nominated for Best Picture, it will definitely receive a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination at the Oscars and/or Golden Globes.
- The casting is perfect.
Greg, Earl and Rachel are an unlikely group of friends, but the pairing of their characters is probably what makes the story so refreshingly fun. Thomas, RJ, and Olivia all come together perfectly and really commit to their characters. Yes, I understand that that’s an actor’s job; however, each character in this film really brings the original book characters to life. Honestly, while watching the screen, I forgot I was watching a film and I ended up thinking that I was apart of the actual story. Needless to say, I started to empathize with each character and that always leads to an emotional rollercoaster.
- The film is visually stunning.
The cinematographer, Chung-Hoon Chung, used an interesting color palette in this film and it totally works. In the film, there are lots of pastel hues throughout, but the most important color that is almost in every shot is yellow, which Gomez-Rejon said symbolizes Rachel (the dying girl). Some of Chung’s techniques reminded me a lot of a Wes Anderson flick, so if you enjoyed watching films like Moonrise Kingdom and/or The Grand Budapest Hotel, I’m sure you will enjoy Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.
- The author of the book wrote the script.
Jesse Andrews, the author of the book, wrote the screenplay as well, which is great. I am always a big fan of authors writing the screenplays to the film adaptions of their books because you never have to worry about losing important aspects of the story mainly because the author knows what to cut and what to keep. This is Andrews’ first screenplay and I already believe that he will be nominated for an Oscar or at least a Golden Globe for it.
- It’s so funny that you will forget that the “Dying Girl” is dying.
Can you imagine a movie about a dying girl being funny? If not, go see this one and this drama will easily have you laughing out loud. No hyperbole here, I’m serious when I say this movie is hilarious. Truthful characters are funny and that is why this film is such a success. Greg, Earl and Rachel are honest and that’s what I loved about them. This trio is easily my favorite since Phil, Stu, and Alan from The Hangover. Disclaimer: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and The Hangover are completely different films with two distinct types of humor. Please do not go into the theater expecting debauchery brought on by drugs and alcohol; it’s a movie about high school seniors, remember that.
- Tired of cliché love stories? Good, you’re in for a bit of a surprise
Despite what you may think, or what direction the film looks like it’s going in, it is not a love story. If you think some kind of romance is sparking just remember that it is not a romantic comedy, it’s a drama-comedy.
- It comes out the same day as Jurassic World but it’s better.
Jurassic World currently has a 73% on Rotten Tomatoes. Though this is a solid percentage it’s not better than Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, which currently holds an 86%. I am excited to see Jurassic World, but I want you all to support the indie project instead of the big summer blockbuster. Help boost Me and Earl and the Dying Girl box office numbers by going to see Jurassic World during a Monday matinée.
- It’s my favorite film of the year so far.
I know we are only halfway through the year. Also, I am aware that all of the best movies come out during the last quarter of the year, but I am pretty sure that this film is going to remain on my top films of the year list. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl has no cheesy gimmicks and there is nothing cliché about it. So please go see it; you will not be disappointed :) Here are a few of the film’s highlights: