Usually I am not a fan of teen movies, with exception of Not Another Teen Movie, so when my film professor told me I should watch Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, I was hesitant. I hate how teenagers are portrayed in most teen films, and it's double the tourture when the teenagers are being played by actors who are obviously portrayed by people in their late 20s. Thankfully I was surprised by this film.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is an unforgettable film experience. It's as witty as it is beautiful. Greg (Thomas Mann, Project X) stars in this tear-jerking hilarious film about a high school boy and how he deals with his new lady friend, who just happens to have cancer, he also enjoys being a social outcast with a hand in each clique in high school, and one cannot forget how he enjoys entering a subhuman state. Greg shares his troubles with his business partner, aka his best friend, Earl (RJ Cyler). Their business you may ask? Movies. They have, so far, made 42 film parodies (reference to Hitchhiker's Guide possibly) for all genres of films. I will not mention any titles of the films because this is one movie that should not be ruined.
Where this film excels is where a lot of novel based movies fail, and that is the writer. This Alfonso Gomez-Rejon directed project is penned by Jesse Andrews, the writer of the novel. Having the novelist involved in the film process is a surefire way to end the age old saying, "the book was better."
We are greeted by a plethora of fun characters along Greg's journey. We have a pot-head Nick Offerman, a tenured professor who enjoys eating fancy foreign food, Connie Britton as Greg's mother, Molly Shannon as her second best role (Superstar is better, duh), and Jon Bernthal yeah Shane from The Walking Dead.
Cinematographer and DP Chung-hoon Chung, and [Director] Gomez-Rejon work wonders on the camera in their opus. Brilliant transitions accompany beautiful frames, it seems as if every single frame was meticulously planned out. One thing I have noticed from more recent films is it seems the cinematographer and the director are on two different planets. The relation those two share on the set is probably one of the most important in the entire film process. A cinematographer can make or break your film, and luckily these two pulled it off perfectly.
The film chronicles Greg who befriends a girl (Rachel) at his school who happens to fall ill with cancer. Their friendship buds (almost) immediately, with some hesitation from Rachel at first. But finally, as the subtitle reads, they start "Day 1 Of Doomed Friendship." Once she find out Greg and Earl make films she demands to see them. One of Rachel's friends tries to talk Greg into making a film for her, who has fallen in love with Greg and Earl's movies.
This scene is one of those quirky ones you expect from independent movies, you know the ones that set them apart from Hollywood schlock. One of the most actuate scenes I have seen in a movie, this is pretty accurate of what someone looks like when they get high for the first time. Notice how Greg examines the ice pop, he understands the ice pop, he becomes one with the ice pop. Now the hallucinations are slightly unrealistic, let's chalk that up to artistic license.