Bookmarks and Big Screens: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

By Ellie Trebilcock

Is the book or the movie better?

It’s the most controversial topic between bookworms and movie-buffs. To resolve the long battle between these two passionate types of media consumers, I will compare and evaluate the quality of the book and movie versions of the story.

{***SPOILER ALERT***}

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This month: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is about Greg Gaines, a teenager whose main goal is to keep a low profile through the end of his senior year of high school is finished. However, his plan is foiled when his mother forces him to befriend a girl after she is diagnosed with cancer.

The author did a very good job in writing the book from a teenage boy’s perspective. The narrative was dripping with sarcasm and the thought patterns were scattered and erratic. The author’s use of screenwriting in parts of the dialog is brilliant because Greg is known for making mediocre films with his friend Earl.

I’m not really sure how I feel about the ending. The book doesn’t have a surprise happy ending and the main character doesn’t have big insightful revelation about life. In the end, Greg is confused and struggling to figure out what to do next. But maybe the ending for the audience is just the beginning of the story for Greg, who had to hit rock bottom before he could start to change. The audience doesn’t need closure because Greg’s story hasn’t ended yet.

After reading the book and sat down and watched the movie version of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.

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Here are some of my reactions to the film:

  • Greg has a heart

In my opinion, Greg came across as a bit heartless in the book. But, the actor who played Greg, Thomas Mann, was amazing in showing how hard Greg is just trying to keep his emotions hidden. Greg used humor and sarcasm to conceal his feelings of hurt and discomfort. This portrayal of Greg really shows the struggle he faced with Rachel’s cancer and how much he actually cared for her.

  • What happened to Earl?

I really wish the film would have addressed what happened to Greg’s friend Earl. How was Earl affected by Rachel’s cancer? What were Earl’s plans after graduation? I  was left with so many unanswered questions.

  • Warning! Waterworks

This movie will make you sob so much that your roommate will become concerned about you. (Thanks for the emotional support Katie). It is an emotional roller coaster and I suggest watching it alone.

Final Rating:

Book: 3 stars

Movie 4 ½ stars

Although you are likely to bawl your eyes out, I highly suggest you watch the movie version of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. The book just doesn’t seem to catch the emotional depth that the movie does. If you are looking for some dark humor with a lot of heart, check out Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.

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(variety.com)

Related:

Meet the Interns: Ellie Trebilcock

Bookmarks and Big Screens: The Choice

Bookmarks and Big Screens: The 5th Wave

Bookmarks and Big Screens: Me Before You

Bookmarks and Big Screens: Dances with Wolves

Bookmarks and Big Screens: The Giver

Bookmarks and Big Screens: The Da Vinci Code