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Acting, humor Sets “Me, Earl & The Dying Girl” Apart From That Other Teen Cancer Flick

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The new summer film “Me, Earl, and The Dying Girl” is about a socially awkward senior Greg Gaines (Thomas Mann), whose mother (Connie Britton) forces him to spend time with a neighbor and classmate Rachel (Olivia Cooke) who is suffering from cancer. At first, their relationship together is awkward, but when Rachel discovers that Greg makes movies with his coworker Earl (RJ Cyler), a friendship forms and the pair become inseparable. When Rachel’s best friend Katherine (Madison C. Hughes) asks Greg to make a movie for Rachel, he is faced with the dilemma of creating the perfect movie.

“Oh no,” you must be thinking as you watch the trailer for “Me, Earl, and The Dying Girl,” “It must be another sappy teen love story with a girl who is terminally ill with cancer. What does that remind me of? Ah yes, John Green’s novel and movie adaptation of ‘The Fault in our Stars.’” You are right. Both films feature a self-hating and introverted protagonist who is forced into spending time with a seemingly perfect individual who changes the protagonist’s life drastically. If you enjoyed “The Fault in our Stars,” then you will undoubtedly love this movie. But, if you didn’t like “The Fault in our Stars,” there is still a good chance you will enjoy “Me, Earl and the Dying Girl.” The reason being that while “The Fault in our Stars” was a movie about an overly messy teenage romance, “Me, Earl, and The Dying Girl” is about a doomed platonic friendship built on sympathy for one another.

“Me, Earl, and The Dying Girl” easily rates a 6.5/10, just factoring in the film’s impressive set design and wise selection of actors. Unlike many similar productions in this young adult film genre, the talented young actors bring a believability to their roles that was often absent during, say, the “Twilight” series. Combined with a sincere but hilarious script, “Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl” has a real-life aspect to it, making you feel personally connected to the characters. By adding a barrage of sex, drugs, and other adult humor to the mix, the screenwriters deliver a silver lining to the otherwise emotionally weighty plot. With a great set design, script, and acting, “Me, Earl and The Dying Girl” deserves at least 8.5/10 rating grade. I would recommend this movie.

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