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Laura_photo_filmmaking_May_2013Summer Films
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
(07/14/2015)

The ending is clear once you’ve read the title, but Me and Earl and the Dying Girl has some fun ways of skipping through the semester toward death. Thomas Mann as Greg, the narrator, has a funny, geeky manner that causes him to mimic a regretful polar bear and doubt every breath he takes. He and his friend Earl (RJ Cyler) make films that parody great works of the cinema, such as “2:48 p.m. Cowboy,” and “A Book of Slips Now.”

Things get more serious when Greg is forced by his mother (Connie Britton) to befriend a high school classmate suffering from leukemia. Greg and Earl decide to make a special film for her.

I want to read the book by Jesse Andres and see how Alfonso Gomez-Rejon could have directed this better. Whether the book is as predictable as the film remains to be seen. Luckily not ALL the adults in this story are complete idiots. Greg’s mother has the right kind of heart. His buff, tattooed history teacher, Mr. Matthews (Jon Bernthal), is a welcome relief from the notion that everyone over 30 hasn’t got a clue.

The best thing in this film is Thomas Mann, the lead actor. Also, the films he makes with Earl are very entertaining and I wish we saw more of them. This film is an homage to independent filmmaking as an art.

The setting, in Pittsburgh, is refreshing. I love Greg’s fears about college. Seven out of ten.

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