I recently went to the theater and watched Ready Player One. While I enjoyed the movie as a fine distraction for two hours, the most I really got out of the film was remembering how great Olivia Cooke is and wanting to go back and rewatch Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, so here we are 😊
A LITTLE BACKGROUND
For anyone who doesn’t know, Me and Earl was a movie from 2015 which was based on the book by the same name by Jesse Andrews. I read the book back when it got popular via booktube and enjoyed it enough, but I have a few issues with it. Those small plot issues are why I believe I have found myself revisiting the movie for the third time now, when I still have yet to reread the book. So I think it’s fair to say that I really love the movie and will be rewatching it for many years to come.
SO AFTER MY THIRD WATCH, DO I STILL LOVE THIS FILM?
Ummmmm of course! I was a bit nervous starting this one again because I had that nagging fear that maybe I wouldn’t enjoy it as much as the other two times, butttt NOPE! I still really love it. It balances two drastically different tones in comedy and drama very well, and none of the tone shifts feel jarring. This movie has me laughing like crazy but also has the power to make me cry like a baby by the end.
IF I HAVE ONE COMPLAINT, IT’S THE HANDLING OF THEMES TOWARDS THE END
My one major issue is just that I felt they explained the themes a bit too much towards the end. I get why all of the voice overs exist, especially since it’s based on a book, but I wish they could’ve found a way to cut some of the voice over. This, especially towards the end, would’ve cut some of the over explaining towards the end. I think it just bothers me so much because the film was doing so well at being subtle with just actions and music, no dialogue for the last few minutes, but then the voice over coming in to over explain things threw me off a bit.
With that said! The last few minutes of this film (from Greg showing Rachel the film until the end) are all very well done and emotional. The director and actors did a great job of bringing out emotion and sharing new insights about Rachel without any dialogue and only some voice over.
PROBABLY MY FAVORITE DETAIL IS THE CAMERA WORK
I’m not going to say it’s the most beautiful cinematography I’ve ever seen (oh no Blade Runner 2048 holds that title) but it’s still very unique and quirky. There are a lot of creative shots where the camera is on the ceiling looking down. There’s great use of close ups, long shots, and even some long takes without any cuts that can be pretty impactful. A great example of a shot I LOVED is when you’re first introduced to the school and the camera just panning through the cafeteria. All in this one shot you see all of the different cliques that make up this school and how they interact with each other. It’s a very crowded shot but it works well for a busy cafeteria and makes things even more impressive that they timed everything perfectly in this one shot. Other than that, the most notable shot was towards the end which was kinda the catalyst of things getting a bit more dramatic. It was a long dramatic scene done all in one take with just dialogue between Greg and Rachel in her bedroom— no fancy theatrics or manipulating music— just amazing actors working from a good script.
SO! That’s all for this post! I originally meant for this to be a small review launching into a discussion about how great of an adaptation it is, but this review turned out to be a bitttt longer than expected. With that said, check back here soon and I’ll have that discussion about how Me and Earl works so well as an adaptation and how other YA adaptations should learn from this.