Not another teen movie

This weekend saw the opening of a highly-anticipated Blockbuster action thriller in Jurassic World, but an indie gem also made its debut, and the star-studded dramedy is certainly not one to be missed.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl tells the tale of self-deprecating loner Greg (Thomas Mann) as his senior year is thrown upside down when he befriends the quietly confident Rachel (Olivia Cooke), who has just been diagnosed with leukemia.

His newfound friendship with the “dying girl” will force him to confront his noncommittal relationship with everyone else in his life, including Earl (RJ Cyler), a “co-worker,” with whom he creates parodies of classic films.

I had a chance to speak with the cast of this unforgettable film a few weeks ago, as they revealed what drew them to such a unique picture, how they got into their characters, and why it was such a dream working with director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon. You can check out that interview here.

Thomas praised the honesty of the film, noting that he was drawn to the fact that Greg “didn’t see it as this beautiful, poignant time in his life. It was awkward and uncomfortable and it was the way that I might have dealt with the situation when I was a teenager.” He was quick to add: “You don’t say the right thing.”

RJ – who was taking on his first feature role with Earl, after having been inspired to act by watching a “kind of scary amount of Disney Channel” as a kid – gushed that reading the script was “like seeing me on paper.”

The up-and-coming star also touched on the raw emotion of the film, noting: “I didn’t know I could cry that much. I cried a lot during this movie – a lot of dehydration!”

Olivia gushed: ” I just knew I had to do anything I could to be a part of that movie,” after reading a unique script that was just “so real and honest.”

She added: “These characters are not stereotypical at all. The breakdown for Rachel wasn’t, you know, ‘beautiful, but quiet doesn’t know it. Loves Jane Eyre.’”

via 20th Century Fox

via 20th Century Fox

The cast – and screenwriter (and author) Jesse Andrews, and director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon – are clearly passionate about the picture, all gushing about the sincerity and honesty in the film, and the artistic and collaborative environment they experienced on set.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is truly an unforgettable experience – surprisingly hilarious for material with such depth, while still being able to access real emotion.

You can check out my full review of the movie on Screenpicks here. Meanwhile, I can’t wait to see it again.

Until next time,

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