Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Every time I watch a movie, I generally let myself absorb the piece before coming to a conclusion about its over quality. In the case of this film, I put more thought than usual into its writing, directing, and editing.

Me and Earl is definitely controversial in its execution of the ‘cancer’ trope. Instead of focusing on Rachel, the audience is directed toward Greg, the cynical and self-loathing protagonist. At first, it’s easy to despise his character because of his general lack of caring and real relationships in this life (e.g. Earl). However, as I continued to watch, I realized that Greg is just insecure. He is ultimately afraid of making any meaningful connections in his life, which is outlined by his self-confessed tactic of “getting citizenship in every nation.” He sticks to this kind of behavior throughout the film, but he, not realizing it, was changing through his friendship with Rachel.

Rachel symbolizes not only who Greg actually is as a human being, but the opportunities in life that he is passing because he does not “care” and thinks that they are “pointless.” Greg claims to not care about anyone, but his dedication to taking care of Rachel speaks volumes about his kindness and desire for true human connection.

The last third of the movie, emotionally went from zero to 60. The film that Greg produces for Rachel truly captures Greg’s metamorphosis and the inexplicable enormity of Rachel illness and influence upon Greg. The core of this film is not about a friend dealing with cancer, but about a boy who is learning to how to live the rest of his life.

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