Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl Movie Review

Recently Leah and I had the pleasure of sitting in on the Papertowns panel with John Green, and while we were there he said something that just stuck with me about books that become movies. He said that a great book to film adaptation, though the book and film will without a doubt be compare, however can stand on it's own. That you should leave the theater loving it as a movie and try not too completely compare the two. As avid readers and girls who constantly see books that become films there are two things I can say about that statement: that it is completely correct, but that it is really hard to do. When it comes to Me and Earl and the Dying Girl this statement took new life for me. This film holds it's own.

Leah and I just left the theater and I knew right away I needed to come home and talk about the film we just saw. If you read either of our reviews on the book than you know that both of us just thought the novel was alright. It was comical, light, but the ending I think is what kind of let both of us down. It's comparison to TFIOS was off, the high remarks on goodreads had us both a little confused, and there was just something we both felt was missing. I think I can speak for the both of us when I say that we now know what was missing. Me and Earl, and the Dying Girl movie gave us everything we wanted and more. The film had so much more emotion and depth than the novel. I know that everyone who sees the trailer is thinking "wow didn't we just dehydrate ourselves and spike Kleenex sales enough last year with TFIOS", please don't think that. The only thing that they have in relation is a sick girl. That's it.

This film blew me away. It's a film following quirky, interesting, and relatable characters. Best part is that it's a film about making films... Which would have most thinking this would lead to an awkward play-out, but it actually gives this film something so unique. The characters though quirky are ones you will be cheering for and falling in love with. Greg (Thomas Mann) is cruising through life, trying to keep a low profile, and just make it out of high school. His only real friend, though he wont admit it, is Earl (RJ Cyler). The bad boy loner from the poorer side of town. The two have been friends forever and making parodies of movies since they met. Making films like "A Sockwork Orange" and "Rosemary's Baby Carrots". The relationship they
have though odd has always worked out for the two of them. That is until one day Greg's mom forces him to hang out with his classmate Rachel (Olivia Cooke) who has been diagnosed with cancer. As you can probably guess Earl and Greg are asked to make a movie for Rachel. This starts the blossoming friendship of three loners. Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler, and Olivia Cooke nailed the characters. They took characters that in the book I felt no real connection too and made them into characters that brought me to tears by the end of the film. That is not the only thing that changed from the book. There are several scene changes that also made the movie a heck of a lot better than the book. It's as if J. Andrews listened to the readers reviews took them in and made the changes needed while keeping the things we loved. So happy that the accidentally drug scene was left in as well as the pillow masturbation talk. Another very present change is the over all connection and friendship between Greg and Rachel. In the book Greg and Rachel really don't have much of a friendship in my opinion. In the film however their relationship and friendship is something so beautiful. So having the characters take a different direction made it easier for audience to connect with them. My favorite change however was the complete change of the ending.

As I said above, when reading the book when it came to the ending I was highly letdown... When it came to the movie it was my favorite part. The unique composition, the beautiful cinematography, and the way it was taken to a new emotional depth that we didn't get out of the book. When I say a new depth I mean oceans
deeper than what the book gave. This went from a mediocre book to an absolutely stunning film. And saying stunning is truly an understatement. A strong indie movie with a casting of new comers really gave this film everything it needs to be a knock out. The filmmakers truly deserve a round of applause for taking a trope filled genre that has recently been increasing and becoming a bit tired and giving it new life. This film deserves way more hype than it is getting. Every movie mark was hit: perfectly placed dry humor, great casting, unique elements, and a film that could have easily been dark was made light and loving. It's been a long time since we've seen a movie that made us laugh till we cried and then just flat out cried.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a film more about the journey than the destination and it is well worth the climb. This is a summer must see. This review only gives a light shade of how I felt towards the film. Simply put: This movie was how book to film should be done.

10/10 Stars 
-Angela