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FILM REVIEW: ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL (12A)

A Sundance Film Festival winner . . . and I can see why.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at this year’s acclaimed festival – and it’s no surprise as the movie contains all the ingredients needed to bake a prized pie.

This is a tear-jerking coming-of-age drama with enough comic relief thrown-in to ensure you’re not too depressed by the end of it.

Me-and-EarlBased on the title, I’m sure you’ve guessed that the film arcs around three key characters. ‘Me’ is Greg (Thomas Mann), a socially awkward teenager who has purposely managed to stay under the radar throughout his school years – with ‘Earl’ (RJ Cyler) being Greg’s friend.

The two of them spend their time hanging out, playing computer games, and making quirky films based around classic flicks – ‘A Sockwork Orange’ and ‘Senior Citizen Kane’ to name a couple.

The ‘Dying Girl’ is Rachel (Bates Motel’s Olivia Cooke) – a girl from their school diagnosed with Cancer – who Greg’s mother convinces him to befriend during her difficult time.

He agrees, but doing so completely takes him out of his comfort zone – and even worse, makes him visible to those around him at school.

A small problem here is that the entire film is narrated by Greg – who is the least interesting character out of the three – but thankfully the trio are together a lot, and when they are, the film is at its best.

The leads (and supporting cast) all bounce off each other and often bring comedy to what is essentially a morbid topic. RJ Cyler puts in an extremely humorous performance in the ‘best friend role’ that provides the majority of laugh-out-loud moments. Fans of American TV sitcom Park and Recreation would also enjoy the performance of Nick Offerman, as a quirky and offbeat father.

It is enhanced with some extremely well-written scenes – with the cast giving strong performances in their roles – even though it is probably trying a bit too hard to emulate last year’s smash-hit A Fault in Our Stars.

There are probably less tears in this – but definitely more laughter.

See Me and Earl and the Dying Girl at Showcase Cinema, Peterborough. Visit www.showcasecinemas.co.uk for the latest up-to-date show times. You can also join the chat on Twitter @showcasecinemas or on Facebook by searching for ‘Showcase Cinemas UK’.

Mikey Clarke

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Genre: Drama

Cast: Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler, Olivia Cooke, Nick Offerman, Connie Britton & Molly Shannon

Running Time: 1hr 45 mins

Directed by: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

See if you liked: A Fault in Our Stars & Paper Towns

 

 

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