Saturday, October 03, 2015

'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl' Will Eventually Become Obscure, but It's an Endearing Drama Worth Watching Nonetheless

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is the winner of the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award in the 31st Sundance Festival which was held earlier this year.  So I had some expectations.  Fortunately, this movie turned out being exactly as how I assumed it would be.

The story focuses on Greg Gaines, a socially awkward high school senior who maintains the belief that, in order to survive high school – or life for that matter – he should not draw attention to himself and be in good terms with everyone by mildly acquainting himself with the various high school cliques without completely investing on friendships.  His only real interest is making homemade movies which parody famous film titles.  He does these projects with Earl, his bestfriend – whom he actually refuses to call as such, but instead refers to him as his “co-worker.”

One day, he is forced by his mother’s nagging to befriend Rachel Kushner, a schoolmate, who has just been recently diagnosed with leukemia.  Both Greg and Rachel initially don’t want to hang around, but the lack of pretentiousness between them compels the two to become friends.  Later, through Greg, Earl and their movies – which Rachel begins to like – enter Rachel’s world as well.

Through the months-long experience of being by Rachel’s side as she struggles with cancer and chemotherapy, and as their friendship gets deeper, Greg gradually sheds his nihilistic self-centeredness and self-loathing, and takes his first steps towards maturity.

I really enjoyed this movie.  Despite following a generic coming-of-age blueprint, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl proves to be an endearing drama, thanks to the acting and direction’s solid execution of the well-written script.  It’s funny and heartbreaking at the right parts and the right amounts.

But in the end, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is just one of those good movies that come out every year that eventually descends to obscurity.  This movie doesn’t have anything substantially distinctive that would make it worth seeking out after 2015.  That said, it does offer an insightful study of life – amidst the hovering presence of death – and friendship through a charming and witty story, and, thus, is worth watching at least one time – preferably, within this year.

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