In a world full of seemingly pointless money-making sequels and reboots, it’s refreshing to see original films being made like Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. Skilfully adapted from her own debut novel by Jesse Andrews, it scooped the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award (US Drama) at Sundance. Alfonso Gomez-Rejon works a litle cinematic magic, drawing great performances out of a young cast and bringing Andrews’ screenplay to life.
Greg (Thomas Mann) is an awkward high school student whose fierce sense of self-loathing prevents him making friends. Along with ‘co-worker’ Earl (Ronald Cyler II) he spends his free time re-imagining classic movies. When his mother (Connie Britton) forces him to hang-out with a childhood acquaintance Rachel (Olivia Cooke) who has been diagnosed with leukaemia, they begin to form a special bond.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is an intelligent, funny and moving teen drama which ridicules genre clichés and adeptly avoids any hint of melodrama. The acting is great on all fronts (including a brilliant performance by Nick Offerman as Greg’s reclusive father) but what makes it such a absolute gem of a film is the attention to detail paid by Gomez-Rejon and inventive cinematography from Chung-hoon Chung. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl captivates, titillates and enchants whilst making a serious statement about friendship and making the most of life.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is out in cinemas now.