'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl' avoids the soppy love story to bring a tale of life [Review]

'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl' avoids the soppy love story to bring a tale of life [Review]

We've seen plenty of movies where the poor female protagonist suffers from terminal illness - think The Fault in Our Stars, Now is Good, and endless Korean dramas. But director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon's Me and Earl and the Dying Girl managed to wow crowds at this year's Sundance Film Festival, where it won both the US Dramatic Audience Awards and the Grand Jury Prize.

It's easy to see why. You are instantly drawn into the story and its loveable characters. Greg (Thomas Mann) is trying to survive his final year of high school by blending in and avoiding getting into deep relationships. He even calls his childhood friend and fellow filmmaker Earl (RJ Cyler) his "co-worker" rather than "friend".

But when his mum forces him to spend time with Rachel (Olivia Cooke), a girl in his class who has cancer, he discovers the values of true friendship.

The plot may not sound impressive, but the film avoids becoming a soppy love story. Instead, it focuses on character development, and uses creative camera movements to deliver energy and momentum, before completely changing pace with a long, single shot of an intense scene between Greg and Rachel.

With stellar performances and a great script, this film is not one to miss.

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This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Dying Girl has plenty of life

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