Exploring the art of storytelling.
“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” was hilarious. It was much funnier than I thought it was going to be. It had some great one-liners; some of which I will definitely quote time and time again, such as when Greg said, “She’s basically like the Lebron James of nagging,” referring to his mother. A lot of the humor in “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” came from inside jokes, which made me feel closer to the characters. The characters were hilarious as well: witty Greg, blunt Earl, Greg’s eccentric father, and overly affectionate Denise.
One of the funniest parts in the film were the hot girl scenes. Whenever Madison touched Greg, the film cut to a shot of a claymation mouse being stomped on by a claymation moose. The fact that it was claymation made it all the more merrier. It was unique and memorable.
The dialogue in “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” was very natural and realistic. The characters were smart, but awkward.
I was impressed with Thomas Mann’s (Greg) acting. I had never seen him in anything before. He fully embodied his character, from his speech to his expressions to his mannerisms. He was perfectly casted as awkward Greg.
I was impressed with all the details that went into creating the set. It made the story and characters come to life. Each of the characters’ houses were characters in themselves. Greg’s house was decorated with knickknacks and patterned wallpaper. In contrast, Rachel’s house was more clean and traditional. This was showcased in the character’s bedrooms as well. Towards the end of the film, the camera panned around both Rachel and Greg’s rooms. Rachel’s room was more colorful, filled with lots of pillows and hidden gems such as scissor books. Greg’s room was filled with his movies and cameras.
Director, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, had a very unique, artistic filming style. Some scenes that stood out were the shots of the long hallways of the high school. We were introduced to the cafeteria by the camera running through the long room with crowds of rowdy students flanking the sides of the screen. The camera zoomed in on Greg and his frightened face. It made me overwhelmed as well. Another interesting filming choice was in a flashback scene where we saw a young Greg and Earl walking to Earl’s house. The road flipped vertical until the characters arrived at the house.
A framing device was used to make the film come full circle. “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” began with a shot looking into the doorway of Greg’s room. He sat at his computer in full view. He started typing the essay to Pittsburg State and his story about Rachel. “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” ended in the same exact position: a camera shot of Greg at his computer viewed from outside his bedroom door. This time, he had just finished his essay/story.
The most powerful scene in “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” was when Greg visited Rachel in the hospital and showed her the movie he made for her. There wasn’t much action, but I was on the edge of my seat from all the tension. Nothing happened, yet so much happened. We saw clips of Greg’s film, but mostly saw Rachel and Greg watching the movie. In the background was fast paced, electric music. My heart was racing the whole time as the emotion built and built. This scene was a huge success.
Just like Greg, I felt like I learned the most about Rachel after her death. That’s when we found out about her scissor book hobby.
I liked the first half of the film much more than the second half. It was funnier. Also, the second half was faster paced than the first half. I felt like it went by too quickly.
I wish Greg had more time with Rachel. I just feel like I didn’t see their relationship develop, especially later in their relationship. It felt too rushed. However, this might have been the intention of writer, Jesse Andrews– to make us feel like we didn’t have enough time because Rachel’s time was short-lived.
Remember when Greg was going to go to prom with hot girl? What happened to that? I will admit, my heart skipped a beat when the limo stopped at the hospital, but I wish we found out what actually happened with prom.
Overall, “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” is the perfect coming-of-age story. The director made great artistic choices. It’s a visual masterpiece. “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” will make you laugh and will make you cry. At the end, I only wanted more. I felt like something was missing…