Scott Marks 12:30 p.m., July 26
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Terminally adorable teen cancer comedy destined to be best remembered for what it doesn’t do: shoot straight. One need not scratch much beneath the smattery parental units to expose a soulless core. The dying girl’s horny, alcoholic mom (played to one-note sitcom perfection by Molly Shannon) spends more time flirting with her daughter’s male classmates than playing compassionate caregiver. For 60 minutes, director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon pummels his audience with gratuitous style – claymation, wackily spelled-out chapter stops, and an oversupply of headroom, enough to park copies of Napoleon Dynamite and Juno, two films with the kind of box office success this film is working desperately to duplicate. It’s only when the cancer begins to inch closer to the finish line that the narrative finally come to rest, but by then it was too late. I’d already spent 10 minutes cheering on the illness. Anything to get out of this picture. With Thomas Mann, RJ Cycler, and Olivia Cooke rounding out the titular trio. 2015.
- Interview with director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon • June 17, 2015