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By Monica Terada · July 9, 2015
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, and the living-breathing monster of a snore sitting far too close to me, saw this artsy flick at the Los Feliz Theater, in Los Angeles. Incidentally, it was a totally fitting atmosphere. The theater's vintage looks further enhanced the movie's vintage-ness. The snores further enhanced the movie's classical soundtrack, really adding a special touch to the climax of Wagner, and Bach, and Vivaldi. Also, did anyone notice a slightly heavy influence from director Wes Anderson in this film? His amazing weirdness was all over the meticulous composition, and camera pans, and color. I loved it!
If I were describing this movie to my best friend, I would say it's the result of an awkward pregnancy from Wes Anderson and Diablo Cody. In this case, the baby inherited Anderson's distinct taste in wardrobe and art; and Cody's unique voice for idiosyncratic teenagers. I say awkward because their pregnancy wasn't exactly normal, as they had to call upon surrogate "parents." (Not awkward in the sense that the two wouldn't make an adorable couple, obviously.)
Meet the surrogate parents:
Alfonso Gomez-Rejon directed this peculiar, but funny baby. And Jesse Andrews wrote the screenplay, and the novel it is based upon. Who would of thought these two would make such a beautiful baby. Andrews is actually a Harvard graduate, so no wonder it was actually a movie of some substantial quality in its humor, strong exposition, and an interesting perspective on life. I'm assuming, of course, that every single Harvard graduate is a person of astute wisdom, brilliance, and just incredibly funny and well-rounded overall. That's a correct assumption to make, right?
As for Gomez-Rejon, he's from that other school, what's it called? New York University, (NYU). I guess they're pretty good as well. Not a Harvard, obviously, but, meh, it'll do. WHAT? This is where I slap myself in the face. NYU is the Goliath of film schools. Where do I want to get with all of this? People, just give up already, because if you're coming from playing with cameras in your backyard, it's just not going to cut it.
Speaking of cameras in your backyard, that's kind of what this film is about. Just add cancer to that and some growing pains. Greg (Thomas Mann) is the self-hating, backyard-movie-making teen who goes through a life changing experience when he becomes close friends with a dying girl, Rachel (Olivia Cooke). I know it sounds like, The Fault in Our Stars, but it's really not. It's worth watching, I promise, and here's why.
Greg and Earl (RJ Cyler) and Rachel, they're adorable. They're really unique kids. Greg and Earl are actually co-workers. They remake all the old classics, giving them a comical spin. Godard's, Breathless becomes, Breathe Less; Bergman's, The Seventh Seal, becomes The Seven Seals. They've made a bunch of these films and their latest project, their magnum opus, is a film for Rachel, who is stuck in bed, battling the ugly disease of cancer. Ugh. She's also very unique. She creates art out of the smallest details throughout her room, such as, little squirrels, jumping from tree to tree on her wallpaper.
Although you wouldn't think Wes Anderson and Diablo Cody would ever get together to make babies, here it is, ladies and gents. It has his nose and hair, and her brains. Check it out at a Vintage theater closest to you, to fully enhance the weirdness. By the way, I later discovered the snores belonged to a person who did not speak a word of English. Makes sense because this is not the kind of movie you snore to.