|ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL (director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon; screenwriter: Jesse Andrews/ based on the novel by Jesse Andrews; cinematographer: Chung-Hoon Chung; editor: David Trachtenberg; music: Brian Eno / Nico Muhly; cast: Thomas Mann (Greg), Olivia Cooke (Rachel), RJ Cyler (Earl), Nick Offerman (Greg’s Dad), Molly Shannon (Denise), Jon Bernthal (Mr. McCarthy), Connie Britton (Greg’s Mom), Matt Bennett (Scott Mayhew), Katherine Hughes (Madison), Masam Holden (Ill Phil), Bobb’e J. Thompson (Derrick); Runtime: 104; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: Steven Rales/Dan Fogelman/Jeremy Dawson; Fox Searchlight; 2015)|
it does better than many of the other
sentimental youth comedies it's linked with,
is hide its gooey moments better than they
by Dennis Schwartz
A quirky tearjerker comedy helmed
by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon ("The
Town That Dreaded Sundown"), that embraces all
the tiresome tropes generated by this genre. What it
does better than many of the other sentimental youth
comedies it's linked with, is hide its gooey moments
better than they could. Jesse Andrews wrote the novel
and screenplay. The soundtrack of Brian Eno
tunes cheers things up. Gomez-Rejon once worked with
Scorsese and the great director's influence is
apparent here. It won both the Audience Award
and Grand Jury Prize at the 2015 Sundance film
festival. The only thing that slows down the comedy is
its stilted pace.
self-obsessed nondescript nerdy high school senior
from Pittsburgh, Greg (Thomas Mann), visits
classmate Rachel (Olivia Cooke) upon his
dying mom's (Connie Britton)
urging. She has been diagnosed with
leukemia. Greg bonds with Rachel when he
is pleasantly surprised they share the same surreal
humor. That humor is expressed by him through
spoof videos of classic movies (like "A
Sockwork Orange"). Greg's straight-talking
black student pal Earl (RJ Cyler), from
the wrong side of the tracks, shares his love for
films and works with him on spoofing the classics.
gist of the pic is filled with smart-assed exchanges
among the genial trio, while the third act is
emotionally touching even if it manipulatively pulls
at our heart-strings.
a voice-over by Greg throughout.
REVIEWED ON 11/15/2015 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ