Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Talent: Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke, RJ Cyler, Nick Offerman
Release Date: 4th September 2015
Greg Gaines is forced by his overbearing parents to spend time with Rachel (Olivia Cooke), a classmate he barely knows who has been diagnosed with stage four leukaemia. Expertly played by Thomas Mann, Greg is awkward, aloof and self-loathing, and his deepening relationship with the dying girl does little to change any of this, one of the many refreshing aspects of this exceptional film. RJ Cyler and Olivia Cooke give equally strong performances in the other two principal roles, while screenwriter Jesse Andrews and director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon pull off a tricky tonal balancing act, seamlessly combining a snarky sense of humour with profoundly moving moments that feel earned and never exploitative. Their efforts are aided by an unusual score from Brian Eno and a uniformly excellent cast. Special mention goes to the parodies of famous arthouse films produced by Greg and Earl in their spare time, all involving puns of the original titles, each of which are hysterical.
Words: Felipe Deakin