So after watching “Minions,” I needed something to cleanse my movie palate. Not because I hate minions (although now that they’re absolutely everywhere I kind of do), but it was just not a great movie. (You can read my review of “Minions” here.) But before we get into my actual thoughts on “Me And Earl And The Dying Girl,” let’s talk about the experience of watching it first. Because it was an adventure.
I pulled into my closest AMC theater (my theater chain of choice, their stubs program is the greatest) and am immediately greeted by a fleet of at least ten fire trucks and hundreds, if not thousands of people flowing into the parking lot. Some lady told me they were just doing a fire drill. Why she thought an entire theater would be evacuated just for a fire drill is beyond me. Anyways, I didn’t want to take my chances so I drove almost twenty miles in the opposite direction to catch the movie at another theater. When I came home I found out that the first theater got a visit from the fire department, because some employees there put a bucket of popcorn that was on fire in the sink and just left it. You know, instead of using a fire extinguisher to put out the fire before the alarm went off like normal people. You’d think would just be common sense, or even just part of their training. Anyways, that happened. Onto the review!
To start, I didn’t even need to watch the trailer to be sold on this movie. I find Thomas Mann infinitely intriguing, and have just been waiting for more projects with him in it to watch. He just has a really likable on screen presence. You always connect with his roles, and it’s never connecting to “Thomas Mann in character” – it’s just his character. And I think that’s what I really look for in actors, because I don’t want to just see the actor, acting. I want to be immersed in their character. And not only Thomas, but the other two leads – Olivia Cooke and RJ Cyler deserve praise as well. The two characters that I wasn’t super into surprisingly were Nick Offerman as Greg’s dad, and Molly Shannon as Rachel’s mom. I thought they were funny, but I also felt like I’ve seen so much of what they did in this movie, in their past characters before. I will say that Connie Britton did the same thing, but I think I’m just blind to it because I just want Tami and Eric Taylor to be my parents so badly that I always like seeing Connie Britton as a worried parent.
I think that it’s always kind of a copout to say that the person who played someone who has cancer had the standout performance, but Olivia Cooke was really so incredibly enthralling. Even from when her character was still well enough to be “normal,” there’s just something about her that makes you tell yourself that you’re going to look her up on IMDb after this movie is over, and watch her entire catalogue. Also, I thought RJ Cyler was such an interesting to give the audience a lens into the movie – as the only character to vocalize the craziness of their situation, and what’s really wrong with Greg.
The easiest way to describe this movie is that it’s a platonic version of “The Fault In Our Stars” – but I feel bad saying that because this movie is honestly so much more. I think there’s something that young people can relate to in all three of the leads – or at least find similarities to with someone in their own lives. Also, this movie was kind of like “50/50” in the sense that you’re not really sure of how much you should be laughing while watching a movie about a young person with cancer. But I think that’s the intent, considering “50/50” was Seth Rogen’s real life experience with his best friend, and this movie’s director had his own relationship with cancer in his family.
Bottom line, if it’s still screening in your area – go see it. You’ll have a good time, you’ll think about the people in your life afterwards. If you have a good knowledge of movie history, you’ll have and even better time. It’s a heavy movie with light moments, and the journey is so worth the weight.