Review: Me, Earl, & the Dying Girl

imgresI don’t know how to review this film…I don’t even know where to start, so let me just jump to the part where I tell you to watch Me, Earl, & the Dying Girl.

Based on Jesse Andrews’ best-selling novel, this film follows Greg (Thomas Mann), his “co-worker” Earl (RJ Cyler), and a dying girl, named Rachel (Olivia Cooke). The film opens with Greg’s voiceover narration about how he has survived high school; a friend to everyone, but a friend to no one. Yes, this is another film about high school seniors, with that introductory high school sequence, that we have all seen before. This is the part in the review where I tell you, you’re wrong. Director Aldonso Gomez-Rejon uses subtle camera tricks in this sequence, instead of the flashy freeze frames paired with snappy sound effects technique, that we have seen in films that came before it.  Throughout this entire movie the camera is an active mind’s eye that brings a sense of urgency to the screen.  Gomez-Rejon is able to project the scene’s emotional action through the camera’s movement, like a cinematic waltz. Me, Earl, & the Dying Girl is a small, independent film, but at times it feels larger than life.

images-1This is the part in the review where I tell you that this is a high school based romantic comedy, where the popular guy falls for the nerdy girl; but this is not that type of film. There is some romantic tension brooding beneath Greg’s “doomed from the beginning friendship,” with Rachel; but it’s more about a genuine connection than romance.  Greg and Rachel form an unlikely, quirky friendship, similar to Andrew and Sam’s connection in the movie Garden State.  During their first encounter, Greg describes to Rachel about how she can pretend to enter a sub-human state, when someone really annoying tries to talk to her.  This is reminiscent to the Garden State scene, where Sam talks about how she invents random noises when she stresses out about life.  Gomez-Rejon is able to tether these teenage character’s innocent wonder about life under the weight of maturity throughout the story. He captures the same authentic, adolescent spirit as John Hughes did in The Breakfast Club.  After watching this film, I can only expect more great films from Gomez-Rejon are in our future.

imagesAgain, this is a coming of age film about Greg grappling with the end of his adolescence during his senior year in high school.  Simultaneously Gomez-Rejon frames a poetic love letter to filmmaking. Greg and Earl spend their time making classic movie parodies, that Rachel watches as she undergoes treatment for leukemia. This is the part in the review where I tell you, that as the story unfolds it was truly “the best of times and worst of times,” for these three friends. Now go watch the winner of the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.

By Sarah Belmont
Featured Writer
@sjbelmont

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You’re the Worst Adult Ever

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 The FX raunchy romantic comedy series, You’re the Worst, returns on Wednesday, September 9th, 2015 at 10:30pm.  The show follows a narcissist writer, Jimmy Shive-Overly’s relationship, with the cynical Gretchen Cutler.  The “worst” squad also includes their best friends Lindsay, an unsatisfied housewife, and Edgar, a PTSD Iraq war vet. With the second season premiere airing next week, I decided rexamine each character to see who is the best at being the worst adult, in season 1.

Jimmy’s Worst Episode 

EPISODE 2, Insouciance

After meeting during the first episode both Jimmy and Gretchen are continuing to pursue a casual, seximgres-2ual relationship.  So, what happens when sex is off the table? Jimmy initially assumes that they won’t see each other, until sex is back on the table.  Then Edgar steps in and arranges for Jimmy to take Gretchen out on a date.  This is probably my personal favorite episode, because of the hilarious opening, dinner, and movie date scenes.  Chris Geere brings Jimmy to life throughout the episode as his dry humor suimagespports the character’s boyish indifference to the situation.  Then there is a moment of true affection as Jimmy longingly stares at Gretchen after she says that, “Cameron’s the worst.”  Jimmy is truly a boy stuck in a man’s body; but he is willing to grow up for Gretchen.

images-4Worst Line 

“I like to yell out character inconsistencies, structural flaws,and keep a general humorous commentary, this is the only place that let’s me do that.”  Episode 8

Season 2 Needs 

In episode seven, we vaguely see the type of relationship Jimmy has with his father.  Hopefully we will actually get to see his father come to town, or Gretchen and Jimmy take a timages-2rip to London.  Also, where is Jimmy’s mom? Does he have siblings? Throughout this past season we learn that Lindsay had a crush on Jimmy, while he dated her sister.  If they do a flashback episode it would be cool to see exactly how that went down.  In addition it would be interesting to see Jimmy encounter a writer he idolizes, only to be repulsed by him/her.

Gretchen’s Worst Episode 

EPISODE 8, Finish Your Milk

 Gretchen “leaves” town to visit her parents, only she doesn’t, and Jimmy ends up interrupting images-3her family’s lunch to drop some truth bombs.  For the first time we see Gretchen masterfully lie to Jimmy’s face, who in a referential Usual Suspects scene, discovers the truth.  During Jimmy’s epic monologue to Gretchen’s parents about how they haven’t met the “real Gretchen”, viewers fully come to understand her character.  She is still a rebellious teenager, afraid to grow up, so she hides herself away from not only her parents, but froimages-2m men too.  Aya Cash’s performance, when she finds the engagement ring, is beautiful as she silently processes this possibility, and goes through a range of emotions.  Gretchen’s default setting is to run away from adulthood, so she breaks up with Jimmy.

imgres-3 Worst Line

“I shit myself earlier, and that is only the second most embarrassing thing that has happened to me today…” Episode 10

Season 2 Needs 

Gretchen should being taking more awkward steps into adulthood, outside of just being in an adult relationship.  She could attempt to get a promotion at work, but struggles timages-4o balance her job with her relationship.  Towards the end of the season begin to subtly hint at her and Jimmy having the “kid” talk. I would like to see Gretchen’s perspective on the idea of being pregnant and then raising a child.

Lindsay’s Worst Episode 

EPisode 9, Constant horror and Bone-Deep Dissatisfaction

This flashback episode to two-half years before Gretchen met Jimmy was great for all the characters, but especially Lindsay.  We see her in the midst of planning her wedding, theimgres-3n married, and still basking in the glow that she beat her older sister to the alter.  This in comparison to her present state of dissatisfaction with life as a wife.  Throughout this episode we understand her motivations for settling, low esteem, sibling rivalry, being neglected as a child, and the fear of being left behind.  These are all childish reasons to marry, as mature adults should only marry out of love.

Worst Lineimages-4

“I’m not a sidekick! I’m Beyoncé, not Kelly Rowland. If I’m on a motorcycle, I’m driving the motorcycle, not riding in that shitty little side motorcycle thingy for poor people and dogs.” Episode 7

images-6Season 2 Needs 

Next I want to see Lindsay struggle to establish herself as an independent woman.  She will be divorced, have to get a job, and find somewhere to live.  Lindsay may even need a roommate, who could conflict with Gretchen.  Even though I see her and Edgar getting back together, I don’t want to see Lindsay in a relationship during season 2.  If she beings dating then it would be an interesting role reversal between her and Gretchen, who is now in a steady relationship.

Edgar’s Worst Episode 

Episode 5, Sunday Funday

images-5Edgar planned the perfect Sunday for him and his friends.  During their brunch, he accidentally drops the secret itinerary for the day.  Richard Hendricks, guest star Thomas Middleditch, returns the misplaced list to Edgar.  Throughout the day Richard and his group of hipsters end up attending all the events that Edgar hadimgres-1 previously planned for his friends.  Including shopping cart racing and going to an open house for fresh baked cookies.  Throughout the episode we see this man suffering from PTSD and act as a child. A child who only sees the world as a playground.

imgres-2Worst Line

“My Therapist said I should be alone as little as possible on account of how I’ve been waking up holding a knife.”  Episode 6

images-2Season 2 Needs 

Now that Gretchen has moved in with Jimmy and Edgar will he begin to miss his best friend?  Throughout season 1 Edgar has supported their relationship, but the dynamics has changed in the finale.  I really want to see a roommate fight between Edgar and Gretchen that places Jimmy awkwardly in between his girlfriend and best friend.  Plus, Edgar wooing the newly single Lindsay.

By Sarah Belmont
Featured Writer
@sjbelmont

2.21 – Sir Bacon On Board

Talk to us at SceneNNerd@gmail.com or on Twitter @SceneNNerd to have your questions or comments read on air! On today’s show, Pete and Casey are joined by Jon of Friday Night Fandom to talk nerdy things. Pete gives us the latest movies out on DVD and in theaters this week as well as gives us a spoiler-filled review of Jurassic World. Casey then runs down the entertainment news of the week including breaking Comic Con news. In TV Talk, the guys review episode 3 of The 100, and the finales of Silicon Valley and Game of Thrones. It’s relaxed, and definitely still geeky. It’s an all new Scene ‘N Nerd!

 

2.19 – That’s Our Bad

Send us your comments or questions on Twitter @SceneNNerd or email us at SceneNNerd@gmail.com for a chance to be featured in our new “Comments Corner” segment. On today’s show, the boys take over. Pete, Matt, and Casey bro out as they cover the new movies coming out in theaters, Casey decimates the entertainment news of the week, and Matt tries his best not to spoil Game of Thrones. In TV Talk they discuss Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley, the first episode of House of Cards season 3, and finally The 100. They’re looking forward to a summer of laughs, merriment, and inappropriate euphemisms, and they’re only on Scene ‘N Nerd!

 

Scene ‘N Nerd Minisode: The Flash Season 1 Finale

Uh oh, it’s a new Scene ‘N Nerd Minisode! Today, Pete, Casey, Andy, Amy, Rose Moore, and Jon Guerra from Friday Night Fandom gush over the final episode of The Flash on The CW. They all agree on how perfect the show is, but get a little heated over some details. Don’t miss the joy or the tears, it’s new, it’s condensed, it’s a Scene ‘N Nerd Minisode!

 

 

 

2.18 – STILL No Hope in Game of Thrones

If you want to be on the show, Tweet us @SceneNNerd, email us at SceneNNerd@gmail.com, or review us on iTunes and let us know what you think or what you’d like us to talk about! Today on Scene ‘N Nerd, Pete, Casey, Rose, and Jon from Friday Night Fandom join up to analyze Gotham, Silicon Valley, and Game of Thrones. Westeros was unusually controversial this week; if you listen closely, you can hear the sweat beading up on the foreheads of the hosts. I need a new shirt, it’s an all new Scene ‘N Nerd!

 

2.17 – ENERGYYYY?

Be on the show! Tweet us @SceneNNerd, email SceneNNerd@gmail.com, or review us on iTunes! Today, the gang tries to record four shows in a single day and loses their collective minds. Join Pete, Matt, Casey, Andy, and Amy as they discuss The Flash and make finale predictions, are joined by Rebecca Johnson of Supergirl Radio to discuss the new Supergirl trailer, and breakdown what they’d like to see most in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Pete tells you what’s coming out in theaters and on DVD, Casey barely survives this week’s entertainment news, and everyone else tries to stay sane. Back from the future, it’s an all new Scene ‘N Nerd!