Sushi for Twelve, $482 plus delivery f MOVIES: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl - Review - Sundance 2015

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MOVIES: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl - Review - Sundance 2015

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a unique journey during a tragic, changing time. It’s about coping and caring and how it can be difficult to do both. Based on the novel of the same title and written by that novel's author, Me and Earl and The Dying Girl is my pick of this year’s Sundance Film Festival for its beautiful visuals, smart dialog, and great story.

The film is about Greg, played by Thomas Mann, a self-loathing high school senior who spends his time trying to remain invisible to the high school social set while making films with his “business associate” Earl (RJ Cyler). One day, Greg’s mother forces him to hang out with the “dying girl”, Rachel, played by Olivia Cooke of Bates Motel fame. As first, things are tenuous but the three become fast friends. However, Rachel’s condition begins to worsen…

This is not a saccharine story about the power of friendship overcoming cancer, but a fun and heartfelt adventure between three very different friends. The young cast really makes this film great. Mann, Cyler, and Cooke feel like real high school students; the dialog that they speak rings true. Their fears and joys are relatable and even though the film is highly narrated and stylized, nothing they say sounds pretentious. The supporting cast is also on point. Molly Shannon portrays the “dying girl’s” mother, while Connie Britton and Nick Offerman play Greg’s laid back and often odd parents.

The style Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is shot in is remarkable. It’s a mixed media, combining stop motion animation, on screen title cards, and interesting shots that all work in harmony to give us this stylized tale. The director, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, has directed twelve episodes of American Horror Story, a show known for its unique methods of story-telling. However, it should be noted that Me and Earl and The Dying Girl is stylized without being annoying or pretentious. It’s accessible and a treat visually.

This is a film for film makers, or those who just enjoy movies. Earl and Greg’s hobby is hilariously portrayed and a running theme throughout the movie, weaving in and out of their interactions with Rachel. And I will say this, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl can be melancholy, but not depressing. As light-hearted and beautiful as this film is, it will make you cry.

If you enjoyed Kings of Summer, a Sundance film from a few years ago, you will love Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. This is a story that comes from the heart, with both comedy and tragedy. A wonderful movie experience.

All images are courtesy of the Sundance Institute.


About the Author – Ashley B
Ashley is as serious as a sleeping curse when she says television is her life. Professional event planner, avid movie viewer, convention enthusiast, and resident sass master, Ashley writes reviews for ABC's Once Upon a Time, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, and Galavant, as well as Showtime’s Penny Dreadful. She looks forward each week to the weird and wonderful world her favorite television programs provide.
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