MR: Me, Earl, And the Dying Girl

This is one of the very rare occasions where the movie is better than the book. Loaded with gross humor, the book comes across as juvenile. On the other hand, the film highlights the beauty of the book, which is that it is a story of growth, coming of age, innovation, creation, loss, fear, life, friendship.

It is truly a beautiful fun film. With sharp wit, and a wonderful sense of humor, the story progresses as Greg befriends Rachel. I thought their relationship developed at a great pace. The actors did a marvelous job connecting on screen and capturing the nuances of connecting.

Earl is excellent, too. His relationship with Greg is fascinating. Their collaborations are brilliant (even if they that their work is horrible. I truly would watch those movies and enjoy them thoroughly). Earl is perceptive, sensitive, thoughtful. He balances Greg out. I love that their friendship is not perfect; that despite their differences, they bond but still have tension. I love their argument/fight scene.

The film is quite nice to watch. It is visually appealing. Beautifully shot. I like that it does not show us Rachel’s final film. It’s “so bad” that it “kills” her. I can relate to Greg’s guilt after that film. But, like many films about death and life, we learn that there is life after death: we can continue to know a person and discover them long after they are gone. People are endless seas, deep and tremendous, with much more nuance than we tend to give them. And, I suppose the message of viewing people more complexly comes to mind with this film, too.

Definitely, this is one of my favorite stories to watch unfold. I may not be as crazy about the book as I am about the film, but I would recommend both. They teach so much, without sounding preachy. They reflect on life and its complexity, at an age of confusion as a backdrop. Check them out!

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