Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is based on a novel by Jesse Andrews about a (IMDb summarized) seventeen-year-old Greg has managed to become part of every social group at his Pittsburgh high school without having any friends, but his life changes when his mother forces him to befriend Rachel, a girl he once knew in Hebrew school who has leukemia.
From the movie title alone, it may seem a little obvious and clichéd coming-of-age, young adult genre but it is good to see another side of reality… a reality of happiness alone as a teenager but also the struggles, pain and sorrow of facing the true & real world and this is why I love watching indie films as they always give juicy and relevant stories to tell.
What I love about this film is the simplicity of the story but it cuts deep inside your emotions. It gave me an insight of how a simple ‘point of no return’ decision can somehow greatly affects life as a whole. I love how the movie made me realize the importance of life, how short it is and how relevant it is to live it to the fullest and doing what your heart desires without having regrets in the end, it made me think about the people already involved in my life can somehow be the strength and source of light for me, the importance of friend and family when life seems dark and gloomy. It also made me realize if I was Greg, how will I help a friend ease up the pain and sorrow they are having or if I was the Dying Girl, how will I face life in the midst of this tragedy… shall I take hard or accept it positively? There is also one point of the film where Greg was checking out Rachel’s things after she died, though I haven’t experienced it but it struck me as I was somehow having the same kind of nostalgic feeling when I miss a friend whom I got really close to.
Anyway, going back to the film, I just love the chemistry between the three characters not as a whole but in pair. I love the subtle but recognizable bond between Greg & Earl as well as the pureness and sincere friendship of Greg & Rachel (the Dying Girl). Somewhere in the film gave me a vibe of The Bridge of Terabithia feel and emotion is just pouring. Their understated performance gave the movie the flavor it surely asked and I commend the director for the tone. I love how playful the screenplay and the score/soundtrack brought more depth and meat to the flick.
All in all, I will give 4.5 out of 5 stars for making me attached to the film.