The Dallas Movie Screening Group

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Friday, June 19, 2015

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

This comedy-drama film, written by Jesse Andrews and directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon is story about Greg (Thomas Mann), a senior in high school who decides to write a story about his a.k.a. friend Earl (RJ Cyler) and Rachel (Olivia Cooke), one of the girls from his class who has leukemia.

Greg is this non popular guy who seems to go through life as a loner. He portrays himself as a non- caring-kind-of-guy. He’s a typical teenager who stands out but does not want to stand out. He is determined to make it through high school even as the “invisible kid”. It is as though nothing fazes him. He is determined to through life on his on term with no sense of direction. Then there is Earl, his only friend, is the no-sense kind of friend who pulls no punches when he is protecting Greg. He is definitely not one to care but is always loyal and is the only constant friend Greg has had since kindergarten. Although, he is just as unusual, his friendship with Greg is constant. Although Earl does not express him as a best friend he is very direct and Greg’s sense of reasoning. When Greg is force by his mother to befriend Rachel as she goes thru chemo treatment, Earl is that person to put everything in perspective.

Rachel is a beautiful teenager who hangs out with the cool girls but discovers life is not the same as she goes through a difficult part of her life. Rachel withdraws from her social life into a reclusive when discovered she has cancer. Although not expected and warranted, she gets to know Greg during that times when he is forced to befriend her. Although, she portrays this girl as a “no-care” attitude deep down she is just as afraid of her life changing with the cancer just as Greg is afraid of his life changing beyond high school. As they get to know each other they both discover they have a lot in common.

This film could have easily took on the direction of a romantic notion but then it would have overlooked the importance of the whole-dynamic-creation of this film that focuses on building relationships between friends and strangers, building and treasuring memories and discovering that no matter what the reasons, there is a purpose for those existence. I also sensed that Jesse Andrews wanted the audiences to see what draws from Greg’s behavior as he captured the unusual behavior of his parents, Earl, Rachel, to the “interesting” kids at school, then towards his “tattooed” history teacher. This films draw towards that discovery which makes this film very realistic, funny, sad but endearing; capturing the audience’s attention and building to that hype. I think this was a great film.
(Review by Dr. Dwanna Swan-Ary)

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