‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’ is not your typical tragedy + Free Eau Claire screening for BeatRoute readers

Monday 22nd, June 2015 / 10:18
By Stacey Rosehill

Fox Searchlight Pictures is inviting BeatRoute readers to a free screening of Me and Earl and The Dying Girl at Eau Claire Market Cinemas on June 24th, 7 p.m. at 200 Barclay Parade S.W. in Calgary. Twenty double passes are up for grabs and you can claim yours by emailing film editor Joel Dryden (enter Me and Earl as the subject line). You’ll be provided with the link to register. BeatRoute thanks Fox Searchlight Pictures for offering our readers a free night out at the movies.

CALGARY — Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is not the tender teen romance you think it is. It’s understated, hilarious and deserves to be this summer’s indie hit.

Winner of the 2015 Sundance Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award, the film manages to be moving without the melodrama – the timeworn “cancer story” is made fresh and funny. Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon has an innocuous way of charming the viewer through a steady stream of crafty dialogue and likable characters – a formula bound to resonate with younger audiences.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a film-major’s wet dream. This coming-of-age story references everything from Werner Herzog to Andy Warhol, shot rather unconventionally with an emphasis on form. The narrative is set in the painful confines of senior high school, where Greg (Thomas Mann) is forced into a friendship with Rachel (Olivia Cook), who was recently diagnosed with leukemia. Greg, the self-loathing kid with a “rodent-face” develops a sincere and platonic bond with the Dying Girl, making light of her disease in a jokey, yet compassionate way.

Greg and his friend Earl (RJ Cyler) avoid being categorized into high school subcultures by spending hours making short-film parodies of classic movies. With titles like A Sockwork Orange and Senior Citizen Kane, they’re all terrible, but that’s sort of the point. The boys decide to make Rachel a special film, and the story unfolds from there as they successfully offset the sadness with entertaining wisecracks and monologues.

Throughout the story, audiences can expect to find themselves on a subtle rollercoaster ride. One moment they feel the crushing weight of mortality, and the next, it’s washed-out with artful humour and endearing, unfeigned characters. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl tells a familiar story through a unique lens, capturing the many complexities of young heartache, friendship and death.

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