Starring: Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler, Olivia Cooke, Nick Offerman, Connie Britton, Molly Shannon, Jon Bernthal
Directed By: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
If you enjoyed Perks Of Being A Wallflower, you’ll love Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. It’s one of the best movies of the year, and hopefully won’t be overlooked by viewers or critics at the end of the year.
Greg (Mann) makes movie parodies with his “co-worker” Earl (Cyler), and generally tries to coast through high school. That is, until his mom makes him go visit Rachel (Cooke), a girl in his class who is dying of leukemia. What starts as an awkward friendship, blossoms into something more. Soon, Greg finds himself making a movie for Rachel. Maybe one that will change her life and change her future the way she has changed his.
You might recognize the adult supporting cast, but it’s really the three young actors in the leading roles who deserve all the praise. Mostly, Olivia Cooke, who turns the normal role of being the tragic girl dying into something different. She’s stronger, somehow, smarter and more accepting of the future dealt to her. Mann is great as Greg. It’s the kind of breakthrough that John Cusack would have had 20 years ago. He’s quirky and different, like a young Cusack or Tom Hanks from the 80’s. Rounding out the top 3 is RJ Cyler as Earl, who brings an immediate realism to every line of dialogue. It’s like he’s not acting, but he’s actually Earl. Together, our main three some offers some funny moments and some really sad moments.
It’s not a cliche ridden film, which is one of the best things going for it. It has smart dialogue, quirky well-written and acted characters, and it feels like it was made by a fresh new director who has something to say. It’d be a shame to let this film fade away so soon in 2015. If you’re looking for a terrific film to see, this is a terrific film. See it.
FINAL GRADE: A