Taglines: A little friendship never killed anyone.
Awkward, lanky, and self-loathing, Greg Gaines (Thomas Mann) is a senior at Pittsburgh’s Schenley High School who appears to drift through life while only seeming to broadly associate himself with the various cliques within Schenley’s halls. He learns that a fellow student and former childhood friend of his, Rachel Kushner (Olivia Cooke), has been diagnosed with leukemia, and is forced by his overbearing parents (Nick Offerman and Connie Britton) to befriend her in her time of need. Despite neither of them truly wanting the other’s company, Greg manages to strike up a conversation about her pillow collection. She finds his quirky personality endearing, and they make plans to meet on a regular basis.
Over time, Greg introduces Rachel to his longtime friend and partner Earl (Ronald Cyler II), with whom he makes short films parodying a more popular film’s title. At Greg’s reluctance, Earl convinces Greg to share their collection of short films with her, which she finds entertaining. As Rachel begins chemotherapy as her disease worsens, Greg begins spending less time at school and more time caring for her.
Discovering them shooting another film, Greg’s high-school crush Madison (Katherine C. Hughes) convinces Greg and Earl to make a film dedicated to Rachel, and Rachel persuades Greg to apply to a local college. Despite being accepted by the college, Greg continues to ignore schoolwork, and eventually school altogether, in order to finish the film. After realizing that her chemotherapy is doing more harm than good, Rachel opts to discontinue her treatment. Greg and Rachel have a heated argument over her choice and he leaves, devastated that he can no longer help her.
In a fit of blind rage, Greg confronts Earl, blaming him for the events leading to the end of his friendship with Rachel, with Earl admonishing Greg’s unwillingness to do anything selfless unless he’s told to do so. Afterward Earl gives Greg a DVD containing a heartfelt testimonial for Rachel before letting him know that he’s finished with their friendship. Greg is also told that due to his failing grades, he has been rejected by the college he thought he would attend.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is an American comedy-drama film directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and written by Jesse Andrews, based on Andrews’ 2012 debut novel of the same name. The film stars Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke, Ronald Cyler II, Jon Bernthal, and Nick Offerman. The film premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival to a standing ovation. It won the U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic and the Audience Award for U.S. Drama at the festival. The film was released on June 12, 2015, by Fox Searchlight Pictures.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Directed by: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Starring: Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler, Olivia Cooke, Nick Offerman, Connie Britton, Molly Shannon, Katherine C. Hughes
Screenplay by: Jesse Andrews
Production Design by: Gerald Sullivan
Cinematography by: Chung-hoon Chung
Film Editing by: David Trachtenberg
Costume Design by: Jennifer Eve
Set Decoration by: Diana Stoughton
Art Direction by: Sarah M. Pott
MPAA Rating: PG – 13 for sexual content, drug material, language and some thematic elements.
Studio: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Release Date: June 12, 2015