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02 Jul 2015

A Mixed Homage: 'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl' Takes Elements from Wes Anderson, Noah Baumbach

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Olivia Cooke and Thomas Mann in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. Olivia Cooke and Thomas Mann in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.

High school kid Greg (Thomas Mann) is forced by his mom (Connie Britton) to hang out with Rachel (Olivia Cooke), who has cancer, in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.

Greg and pal Earl (RJ Cyler), who have been making spoof movies since they were little kids, decide to make one for Rachel.

Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon can’t decide if he is making a Wes Anderson-style film or a Noah Baumbach-style movie—and the film often plays like those two mixed together, even down to the music choices, involving Lou Reed and Cat Stevens.

The film deals well with Rachel’s illness, and Mann and Cooke have some great scenes together. Things go a little off the rails at times, and the film lacks a consistent tone. Still, the power of the lead performances, and the fact that good directors are essentially being mimicked rather than bad ones, make the movie decent-enough. Nick Offerman, Molly Shannon and Jon Bernthal are all good in supporting roles.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is playing at theaters across the valley.

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