I admit; I feel a bit jaded against films with premises like the one in MAEATDG (as it shall now be known!). They seem far too constructed; a cash grab with the promise of toying with your emotions. Take, for example, last years entirely despicable the Fault in Our Stars. Now here was a film with a terrible, predictable story; a sloppy cliche ridden concept, and absolutely no style whatsoever. Yet it was a box office success. Why? Because lots of little teen girls paid lots of money to go and cry at said travesty. Well, I'm pleased to say that the above film is not, in any way, like that.
|The dying girl, me and Earl......|
The plot drops on us pretty fast: all of a sudden, Greg's mum is telling us that Rachael (the girl down the street) has been diagnosed with Leukemia. What is Leukemia? Earl asks. The cancer of the something.... is his answer. You see, usually I go through these reviews in a step by step procedure, one I just kinda made up as I go along. So this would be the part where I tell you about the plot. That's a hard one here.... if I were to describe the basic plot, it would be this: Greg talks to Rachael and makes films. It's not exactly dynamite. But what this film is about is discovering oneself; coming of age; dealing with setbacks; managing friendships; and just generally growing older. There's a conspicuous lack of sex commonly found in these types of movies (noted in a couple of voiceovers), drugs (although one scene is rather hilarious), or rock and roll. I suppose it's rather like The Perks of Being a Wallflower, but with terminal illness.
|The two 'coworkers' on the set of their next masterpiece...|
As I've stated before, this film is a heavy stylistic exercise: wonderful camera angles prove to be the centrepeice of the storyline, and the 'films' Greg and Earl make are more than a side-line affair. On top of this, I frequently noticed the lighting to be of exceptional quality (especially in a spoiler scene that I can't disclose here!). As many other reviewers have noted, the use of cliche commenting by our protagonist is often effective, as is the use of humorous titles, and a very clever plot device that I once again can't tell you about. The soundtrack is also suitably epic: understated and background, yet filled with emotion and whimsy; the perfect accompaniment to such a film.
|'Cause every film needs a comedy cat...|
So all in all, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a funny, well filmed, and unusual drama that seriously merits viewing. However, it is hampered by giving precedence to style, and not quite surpassing the cliches it attempts to comment on.
|Me and Earl and the Dying Girl gets 4 stars!|