Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,
I love today's movie. It's Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2014, PG-13, Available on DVD).
The "Me" in question is Greg (Thomas Mann), who makes his way through the chaos of high school as a polite and amiable acquaintance to everyone, and friend to no one. He's on the fringe of every clique, so nobody beats him up. He's not committed to anyone except Earl (RJ Cyler). Greg and Earl make film parodies together, such as Anatomy of a Burger for Anatomy of a Murder and Senior Citizen Cane for Citizen Kane.
I'm not sure Greg is friends with Earl, although they've known each other since they were young children. Earl is Greg's "co-worker."
Then Greg returns home from school one day and learns from his mom (Connie Britton) that Rachel (Olivia Cooke), a girl in his high school class, has cancer. Rachel's mom has called some parents to request that their kids visit Rachel. Greg hesitates, procrastinates, undulates (not really undulates; I like the way it sounds), and says he doesn't really know Rachel. It's true, because Greg doesn't know anyone.
Gently hounded by his parents, Greg visits Rachel. Then he visits again and again and again until he spends all his free time with Rachel. Do you know our theme today, class?
Yes. You. The one in the green shirt, back row.
The interconnectedness of human kind?
Very good. Other themes pop up in the movie, but the most important support for the theme is that Greg develops a connection with Rachel that changes his life.
I love the highs and lows and backwards and forwards and this and that of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.
Fortunately, we have comic relief in the form of Denise, Rachel's mom (Molly Shannon). Shannon steals every scene she's in.
All the young actors have bright futures, I hope. I also enjoy Greg's dad (Nick Offerman), who always seems to be clad in a robe and pajama pants and doesn't do much of anything as far as I can tell and has a cat named Cat Stevens. Cat Stevens is almost as good a name for a cat as my F. Cat Fitzgerald, dead and gone lo these many years. Oh, how that cat loved my son. It was hero worship.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl earns The Janie Junebug Seal for well-done teen angst, a Super Seal for the interconnectedness of human kind, and a Kissy Face Seal because I love the name Cat Stevens. Another good cat name is Meow Zedong or Picatso.
I would allow children of reasonable emotional intelligence, ages thirteen and older, to watch this movie. In fact, I'd probably insist that any child living under my roof watch this movie. As always, I urge you to see the movie before you decide to show it to your teens.
I hooked up with this movie on a DVD that Netflix sent to my mailbox. That company is so nice to send me movies.
Infinities of love,