I’m not into introductory posts, so to paraphrase a quote from this movie… “I guess I’ll just start”.
Me and Earl and The Dying Girl enjoyed super success at The Sundance Festival, and got a ton of other awards too. I think the best way to begin to describe it is that it was made by the same studio as Juno, and shares the same quirky style, witty script and ability to turn a difficult scenario into something upbeat and uplifting. It was these reasons that made me a fan of Juno, and subsequently of this too.
In a nutshell it is like the more sophisticated, fun, cool-even-though-I’m-not-trying older sibling of The Fault In Our Stars (a film I had managed to avoid until a long plane ride back from the States). Both deal with a sweet, fairly wholesome young girl with a terrible disease, and a tall, blonde guy who befriends her amidst this. Refreshingly, the similarities end there, with the standard John Green-esque nauseous romance being replaced with brilliantly imperfect and creative spoof filmscenes made by Earl and Greg (their greatest hobby which becomes large feature of the film).
As per many indie films, the film’s style and scenery is almost a reason to watch it in itself – Rachel’s bedroom full of cushions, books and decoratively arranged craft scissors is a dream, as is her beautiful wavy, soft hair (which she genuinely had shaved for the film – kudos to her).
I found the balance of joy and sadness from the conflicting elements of the film just right, and left feeling a mixture of both. There is no moralistic or fairytale ending, except perhaps a sense of the value of kindness and friendship. Overall I would certainly recommend, and watch again. In the mean time I may just add the original novel to my literary wishlist… (have you SEEN how beautiful the cover is?)