The Alfonso Gomez-Rejon film is based on a novel by Jesse Andrews and centers on a high schooler named Greg (Thomas Mann). Greg is a pretty awkward guy who spends a great deal of his time making parodies of classic films with his “co-worker” Earl (RJ Cyler). You’re probably wondering why I said “co-worker” as opposed to friend. Greg is just surviving high school and not trying to make enemies in the process. That means making friends is not really that big of a priority for him. Hence why Greg refers to Earl as his “co-worker.” One day, it’s revealed that a classmate of Greg and Earl’s (Olivia Cooke) has stage four cancer and Greg’s outlook on life is completely altered after – gasp – befriending her.
I’ll start off by saying that it was disappointing to wait three weeks after its initial release for Earl
to start showing in a theater near me but it was an enjoyable film once I saw it. The film is being compared by some to The Fault in Our Stars
but I’d say it’s vastly different. Fault
is more of a love story while Earl
is a story about friends. Earl
is more authentic and believable
and didn’t take the same road as Fault
with regard to the relationship of its two main characters. Sure, there’s a clear tension for Greg and Rachel to fall in love throughout the film, but it never happens and I thought this was a nice change to see.
I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention the brilliant cinematography and camera work in the film. Earl flashes a bright neon sign that says “I’m an Art House Film” but interestingly offers glimpses of a Wes Anderson film as well. One scene in particular was at Greg’s school where the camera pans straight up and we see Greg’s face being boxed in by a window – making the setting almost like a toy house. This is a technique that Anderson has been known for and it was cool how the scene reminded me of his work.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a real(er) The Fault in Our Stars with a voice of its own. It’s authentic and believable with a dash of humor. If you can find it in a theater near you, go see it.
I Give It An: A
Check Out The Trailer Here