Saturday, September 9, 2017
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015)
IMDb plot summary: High schooler Greg, who spends most of his time making parodies of classic movies with his co-worker Earl, finds his outlook forever altered after befriending a classmate who has just been diagnosed with cancer.
Directed by Alfonzo Gomez-Rejon. Starring Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler, Olivia Cooke, and Nick Offerman.
The inevitable comparison here is to The Fault in Our Stars (which I liked quite a bit). Me and Earl goes for the comedy much more often and it almost always works for me. While both movies have characters that can easily fall into the pretentious "old soul" category (they like old foreign movies! And poetry! And jazz!), this movie handles it better and I was less aware of its tropey-ness. It's also shot creatively, in a way that made me sit up and pay attention.
However, there's one glaring flaw in this movie, and that is how little personality Rachel gets throughout. She doesn't get a name in the title and basically all we know about her throughout the movie is that she a) has cancer, b) doesn't like everybody talking to her about it -- but who would? -- and c) makes cool little book sculptures, though we don't find that out until the very end of the movie. Even Rachel's mother has a more distinct character arc. TFiOS may have been full of Mary Sueish characters, but at least they had distinct, creative personalities. Here, it's hard to see Rachel as anything more than a plot device for the central character himself. Fortunately, I *like* that central character and I hink he's fleshed out beautifully, but it definitely rubs me the wrong way to see the titular "dying girl" used the way she is. The more I think about it, the more it bothers me, and the more it overshadows my more positive feelings about the rest of the film.
How it entered my Flickchart:
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl > Snakes on a Plane
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl < Zootopia
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl > A Matter of Life and Death
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl > Draft Day (why is this so high on my chart?)
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl > Porco Rosso
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl < The Artist
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl > Three Colors: White
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl < Mean Girls
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl < Star Trek (2009)
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl > Lethal Weapon
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl < Idiocracy
Final spot: #722 out of 2654.