Yes, this Sundance fave is another teen-cancer weepie. But it's also a mischievously meta coming-of-age comedy, steeped in millennial pop-culture sensibilities. It centers on high-school misfits Greg (Thomas Mann) and Earl (RJ Cyler), who have been best friends since kindergarten and spend their time making goofball digital shorts of art films. Their high-school survival strategy—to dodge and weave among cliques—is upended when they befriend Rachel (Olivia Cooke), a classmate recently diagnosed with leukemia. The relationships among Greg, Earl and Rachel are so strange and specific that they feel entirely authentic. This isn't a love story, and Greg and Earl's friendship is so unsentimental that it's almost impersonal. The bonds among the three characters are rooted in humor, unspoken empathy and the kind of ferocious loyalty that blooms only in high school. The weaker moments feature the adults, who can come across as awkward and self-conscious. Thankfully, the grown-ups are largely in the background, and when the young people are on screen, everything hums.
Official Site: MeAndEarlMovie.com
Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Writer: Jesse Andrews
Cast: Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke, R.J. Cyler, Nick Offerman, Molly Shannon, Jon Bernthal and Connie Britton
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