Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

How's THAT for a provocative title? And NO, this does not resemble 2014's romantic tragedy "The Fault in Our Stars." It does however have something in common with another Shailene Woodley film, "The Spectacular Now": it has the longest single-take scene I have witnessed in contemporary filmmaking. I note that our lead actress is stage trained, but her costar seems to be a beginner. What a remarkable beginning!

This USA submission to the 2015 Seattle International Film Festival says "A Little Friendship Never Killed Anyone." Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, he has guided a pair of young actors to excel in their craft as they portray a couple of teenagers forced to visit with one another by their mothers.

The cast:
  • Thomas Mann ("It's Kind of a Funny Story") is Greg, a young would-be filmmaker. He makes low budget parodies of classic films; derivative, juvenile, and silly.
  • Connie Britton ("Nashville") is Greg's mother; she insists that Greg visit a classmate "because she has leukemia." He can't think of a worse reason to visit someone!
  • RJ Cyler ("Second Chances") is Earl, Greg's partner in crime. Neither of them fit in at school so they have created quite a library of movies.
  • Olivia Cooke ("The Signal") is Rachel, our eponymous dying girl. She is as wary as Greg about a visit. He finally tells her he agrees with her but his mother has threatened him, so she gives in.
The final segment displays a unique art form that I have only seen a couple of times. It is breathtaking and adds to the eloquence of the ending. In my opinion, it's films like this that make a film festival worth attending.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Here is the official trailer:
* * * * * * * * * * * *