Thursday, December 3, 2015

MOVIE WEEKEND: ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL

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.

Happy viewing!


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug



33 comments:

  1. Sounds pretty good for a teen movie. :)
    Love the cat names. ;)

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    1. I don't think you can beat the name Karma.

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  2. My niece recommend this movie to us recently. You've never steered us wrong so we'll watch it.
    Stay warm
    R

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    1. Stay warm? It's only 61 degrees. I have no doubt that I'll freeze to death. Last night when I went to bed it was 71. Now at the early hour of 6:08 p.m. it's only 61. I must be turning into a native.

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  3. I haven't seen this movie. But I have heard only good reviews and feedback. I think it will go to my list Have to watch, cause it seems it will be interesting for me.

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    1. I hope you like it. Watch with a box of tissues if you're prone to tears.

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    2. I just visited your Web site. Shame on you. Students have asked me to write essays for them and always received a firm NO.

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  4. I've seen that movie on Netflix and hesitated to watch it since it seemed like a "teen" movie, but now that I've read this review I'll definitely watch it. And I didn't know Nick Offerman was in it! I love him.

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    1. It's much more than a teen movie. I promise.

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  5. I wanted to see this one when it was in the theatres but never made it. Will have to watch it on DVD now -- so thanks for your review!

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  6. I have not seen this yet but hear it is an excellent movie.

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    1. Excellent is not going overboard in its praise.

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  7. Sounds good, but I think I'd read the book first. :-)

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    1. You go right ahead. I might read the book at some point. The author wrote the screenplay.

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  8. Any movie that emphasized human interconnectedness gets a gold star in my book.

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    1. Oh, don't be a Gold Star Mother, Sherry. It's too sad.

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  9. ooooooooh Thank You so much !
    I heard of this movie and then forgot about it.
    Will Netflix it right away.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Hop to it. thehamish told me he wants to see it.

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  10. I might have to check this movie out!

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  11. This sounds like a compelling movie.

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    1. Yes, it's well done. The parents are hilarious, but not stupid. The kids grow up and change, as well they should.

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  12. I couldn't find this on Netflix!!

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    1. It's not on streaming. You have to order the DVD. Did you look in the DVDs? If you did and you can't find it, then Queen Mommy Janie will find it for you.

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  13. I saw this one and wondered about it. Thanks for the review. I'll add it to my list.

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  14. This sounds like an excellent movie and one we can learn from

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    1. Definitely. The interconnectedness of human kind is my favorite theme.

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  15. We just watched To Kill a Mockingbird last night. I know it's for probably 12 years and up. I kept stopping it, and talked about racism then and now, and other thing.

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    1. That's great. I read to my kids a lot, but we also watched classic movies. One day I got home, and they were imitating Jimmy Stewart in The Spirit of St. Louis.

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