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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl: Movie Review

Movieguide Magazine


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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is about a lonely teenage boy with just one friend, whose parents make him befriend a girl dying of leukemia, and how this selfless friendship changes all three lives forever.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is very well acted, with some beautiful writing and a light redemptive, moral worldview, but it's marred by some negative behavior like some crude dialogue and a scene making light of accidentally eating a cookie laced with marijuana.

The movie follows a Pittsburgh-area boy named Greg, who has little self-esteem and tries to just sneak through life at his high school by being just friendly enough with every social group. He has only one friend, an African-American boy named Earl, and the two spend most of their free time making ridiculous spoofs of famous movies.

One day Greg's mom tells him that a girl named Rachel whom he barely knows has been diagnosed with leukemia. She orders Greg to go befriend Rachel and help bring joy into her life, since he's so easygoing. Greg feels he'll be rejected and doesn't want to do it at first, but he gives it a try. Happily, he and Rachel find that they hit it off immediately.

The rest of the movie follows the story of their friendship and the impact it has on Greg as he learns to selflessly love her in a way that epitomizes Christian love (without the movie ever addressing Christianity). As he and Earl visit her daily and ride the rollercoaster of her illness, they become inspired to make a special film just for her, with strongly emotional consequences.

Based on a popular book, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl has some beautiful writing, with some powerful images. The acting by the cast of young and veteran performers is excellent and even touching, as well as, funny. Perhaps, the most surprising and valuable aspect of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is that Greg, Earl and Rachel never get romantically involved. However, the teenagers make some crude references to sex. There is also plenty of foul language, including one "f" word and several strong profanities. Finally, one scene makes light of accidentally eating cookies laced with marijuana, but a drug dealer selling to teenagers is viewed in a negative light.

The movie's premise is a redemptive, moral premise promoting Christian virtues, especially compassion and selfless friendship, but it's marred by the negative behavior and content cited above. So, extreme caution is advised for Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.

Republished from with permission.

NOTE from Dr. Ted Baehr, publisher of Movieguide Magazine: Movieguide is dedicated to redeeming the values of Hollywood by informing parents about today's movies and entertainment and by showing media executives and artists that family-friendly and even Christian-friendly movies do best at the box office year in and year out. For more information, go to

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About The Author

MOVIEGUIDE® was founded in 1985 by Dr. Ted Baehr, past president of the Episcopal Radio & Television Foundation and former director of the Television Center at the City University of New York. MOVIEGUIDE® is affiliated with the Christian Film & Television Commission® ministry (CFTVC). Both MOVIEGUIDE® and CFTVC are dedicated to redeeming the values of the entertainment industry, according to biblical principles, by influencing industry executives and artists and by informing and educating the public about the influence of the entertainment media and about how to train their families to become