My favorite comedy/drama of the year has arrived this weekend: “Me and Earl And The Dying Girl”. It’s a compilation of themes from a number of successful coming of age/ teen cancer films, like “The Fault in Our Stars”, but none of those had the style and wit of this directorial effort by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, who uses incredibly creative camera work to keep things moving with just the right amount of humor and emotion. The script by Jesse Andrews supplies great opportunities for the cast to shine. Thomas Mann is perfect as the smart, disengaged, film nerd Greg Gaines, who has marginal self-esteem. He learns about the Luekemia diagnosis of a classmate Rachael from his parents, perfectly played by Connie Britten and Nick Offerman, who urge him to give the girl, played by a wonderful Olivia Cooke, support. Part of Greg’s’ efforts to cheer up Rachael involve his friend Earl, a wisecracking childhhod pal from a less advantaged part of town. Together the two boys share a love of films that has inspired them over the years to create a catalogue of humorous short films based on reimagined famous film titles, e.g.: “A Sockwork Orange”. Terrific secondary character work by Molly Shannon as Rachael’s mom and Jon Bernthal as Greg’s history teacher/advisor, give the project an extra glow. This was a U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic and the Audience Award for U.S. Drama at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, and for good reason.
Rated: PG-13 (for sexual content, drug material, language and some thematic elements)
My GPA Rating: 4.0