Me and Earl and the Dying Girl: Review

If you must see a movie about a dying teenager, this is the one to see.

I’m not spoiling anything, “dying girl” is in the title. “Me” refers to Greg, whose mother forces him to befriend Rachel, a girl in Greg’s class, when she learns that the girl has leukemia. Greg has successfully stayed under-the-radar during all of high school; Earl is his only friend.

The film received a standing ovation when it debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and it does a great job of taking incredibly quirky characters and making them feel relate-able. The offbeat situations and characters also help you forget (for a while) that you are watching teenagers deal with a grim diagnosis. This is mostly due to the amazing performances. Connie Britton plays Greg’s mom and she is nearly unrecognizable at times as she totally channels the frustrated yet patient mom of a teenage boy. Nick Offerman and Molly Shannon turn in equally great performances. The actors who play the leads are great and VERY well cast, but as the mother of teens I was impressed with the subtle, realistic performances from the actors playing the parents. They helped make the quirkiness of the teens even more believable.

I try to go out of my way to avoid sad movies but I loved this film. There is realistic humor; and the characters aren’t saints and don’t give impassioned speeches about the meaning of life. It’s in limited release so you may have to hunt down a theater to see it in, but it will definitely be worth your time.

 

 

 

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