Come take a ride on this emotional roller coaster that won both an Audience and a Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah this year. It is sure to be up for Academy Awards next winter for the film, best actor, best supporting actor, writing, cinematography, directing and maybe more.
The “me” in “Me, Earl and the Dying Girl” is High school Senior, Greg, played by Thomas Mann, who spends most of his time trying to be invisible and making parodies of classic movies like “Senior Citizen Cane” and the “Rad Shoes” with his “co-worker” Earl, (RJ Cyler) who has been his best friend since kindergarten. Greg finds his outlook on life forever altered after his over-bearing mother, (Connie Britton from the television series “Nashville”), forces him to befriend a classmate, Rachel, performed by Olivia Cooke, who has just been diagnosed with stage-four leukemia.
Jesse Andrews adapted the screenplay from his young adult novel, “Me, Earl and the Dying Girl.” It is a story we have seen many times of a teen dying of cancer but told in a totally unique and remarkable way. The film was directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon known for directing the television series, “The American Horror Story” and “Glee.”
I saw “Me, Earl and the Dying Girl” at a special screening for “film reviewers only” at Plaza Frontenac Cinema in St. Louis, so I didn’t get to poll the audience for their reaction to the film, but I heard lots of boisterous laughter and quite a few sniffles from the professionals in the audience. I promise that this movie is guaranteed to tug at your heartstrings. The only thing that kept it from being a truly great movie was that it started to drag a little for me in the middle but not for long and certainly not long enough for me to lose interest.
Generally, I only review movies that are going to be shown at the local movie houses but I think this film is worth the drive to Plaza Frontenac Cinema to see. It is quirky and poignant with a spectacular cast, but don’t forget to bring your box of Kleenex or you’ll be looking for a sleeve or shirttail to blow your nose on.
“Me, Earl and the Dying Girl” opens Friday June 26th at the Landmark Theatres Plaza Frontenac Cinema in St. Louis.
The Telegraph’s contributing movie critic Mary Cox lives in Wood River and is a member of the St. Louis Film Critics Association, who also occasionally writes about film-related topics, studied film at the University of California, Los Angeles, and worked in L.A. with various directors and industry professionals. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.