There are few films released during the summer that have the ability to effect someone past the point of just being entertained. For the most part, summer is a time for big explosions, big action and awesome stunts. “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” breaks those rules and hearts with its sweetness.
As the title describes, this movie is about three friends. One of whom is dying of cancer. I already know what you are thinking cause I thought the same thing. To my delight and surprise though this is not a cheesy, sappy blue print of a film about cancer, you know the kind that tend to just scrape the surface of an unfathomable subject.
This film goes deep inside of the the cancer experience but does it from the perspective of friendship.
That simple summary does not do the film justice either. It is much more than just that and it pulls off things that are wonderful and hilarious in every second that the images are being beamed onto the screen.
The story follows Greg (Thomas Mann), a guy who stays invisible at his high school and loves making films. His films are mock films of classic titles. For example “A Clockwork Orange” is “A Sockwork Orange” and features sock puppets. Greg likes his social invisibility. The only person that is associated with Gregg is his friend and fellow-filmmaker, Earl (RJ Cyler).
Things for both Greg and Earl change when they befriend Rachael, (Olivia Cooke) a fellow classmate who has contracted Leukemia.
Director, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon takes writer, Jesse Andrews material and shapes it in a way that feels very much like one of your own memories. He doesn’t merely step-over and shrug-off youth. He makes the film become youth. This is a very big turn from his visual reboot of “The Town That Dreaded Sundown” and the hit FX series “American Horror Story” but he pulls no punches and shows that he is one of those directors capable of a wide range. It is wonderfully and playfully framed and shot. The aesthetics fall somewhere between Wes Anderson and Michel Gondry and reveal the visual cues of innocence crashing into adulthood.
This film is a poignant and charming while it flirts with tragedy and comedy in the same beat. You can tell everyone involved had love for not only the aesthetic but the actual feelings that went into the material.
There is no sap in this film, everything presented is what it is during the worst of times. Reality presents itself through the cracks of humor we use in society to cheer people up even though we know things might not turn out for the better.“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” is full of heart and charm. It is a film that I might have to call an early contender for my top 10 films of the year for 2015. There is something very special about this one.