When I was interning in London earlier this year, I helped out on a film screening. While ours was reasonably popular, the screen next door was overflowing with people eager to see Me and Earl and The Dying Girl. I wondered what the fuss was all about, therefore when I got a chance to see it, I headed to the cinema.
High schooler Greg (Thomas Mann) floats around school without causing trouble, simply making parody films with his “co-worker” Earl (RJ Cyler). His outlook on life is changed when he befriends a classmate who is suffering from leukaemia.
Most films that revolve around American high schoolers involve stupidly soppy love stories which wouldn’t happen in real life. Instead, Me and Earl mocks these types of films, with Greg breaking the fourth wall to explain what would be happening at that point in any other films.
While the film starts off light-hearted with Greg’s father (Nick Offerman) popping up eating weird types of food while Greg and Earl carry on creating their parody films. Greg and Earl’s relationship is a fun one. Having been friends since kindergarten, Earl knows everything about Greg, even if Greg doesn’t like to admit it. The friendship between Greg and Rachel (Olivia Cooke) is also very sweet with Greg’s continued attempts to cheer up Rachel.
While this keeps the story light-hearted, it soon turns darker. As Rachel’s leukaemia gets worse, the film turns to focus on the teenager’s ability to cope with a situation that is largely considered to be an adult problem. This makes the film take a devastating turn, meaning that no one in the cinema left without shedding a tear or two.
There’s no wonder why Me and Earl has been getting rave reviews from critics the world over. It’s an intelligent film that will get teenagers talking about seemingly adult situations, with a smattering of jokes and happy moments throughout. It also acts as a great starting point for a group of little-known actors who will no doubt be propelled into stardom off the back of this film.
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