7:30 PM, 30th October, 2015
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (known from here on out as ‘the film’ given the word limit on reviews) is an adaptation of a young adult novel about adolescent friendship in the midst of terminal illness. The film chronicles the senior year of Greg (‘Me’, Mann), his friend Earl (‘Earl’, Cyler) and Rachel (‘The Dying Girl’, Cooke), who has been diagnosed with leukaemia.
Those who have seen or heard of The Fault in Our Stars will know that dying teenagers are a very marketable topic in Hollywood at the moment. But just because it is marketable doesn’t mean it isn’t good… thankfully this film is actually very good, so please don’t be dissuaded with the view the film might just be all hype.
So many of the same subjects one finds in any film about the coming of age of high school students exist in this film. Surprisingly I didn’t feel like it was stuck in clichés thanks to a strong script and some great work by the director. Greg’s parents (Connie Britton and Nick Offerman) also add an eccentric jolt of parental weirdness (all parents are kinda weird, aren’t they?) to their scenes, and Jon Bernthal takes the cool teacher role into a fun space.
This film is a thinker. It’s an interesting view into various relationships. It’s certainly a more classy response than saying Mission: Impossible when asked about the last movie you saw. And it is a highly recommended way to spend your evening.
9:25 PM, 30th October, 2015
Hot off the heels of smash hit The Fault in Our Stars, this is the latest adaptation of one of author John Green’s young adult novels. Paper Towns tells the story of Quentin ‘Q’ Jacobsen, a teenager just about due for a coming of age. And so it comes in the form of Margo Roth Spiegelman, the beautiful and mysterious girl next door who was once his childhood best friend but has since become popular and therefore well out of his league.
Q still has feelings for Margo but doesn’t hold much hope until one night she crawls through his bedroom window and whisks him off for a whirlwind all-nighter mission of revenge against a nasty ex-boyfriend of hers. When Margo disappears the next day having apparently run away from home, Q sets out to track her down with his friends, using the many cryptic clues she seems to have left for him.
The description seems pretty simple but this is a surprisingly plot-heavy film, particularly for one aimed at young adults. Nat Wolff gives a commanding performance as lovelorn amateur detective Q while English model-turned-actress Cara Delevingne is impressive as the alluringly enigmatic Margo. Delevingne apparently petitioned hard for the role and her persistence paid off in a complex performance as Q’s dream girl turned real (no spoiler, this isn’t Gone Girl).
If you enjoyed the book, you’ll definitely like the adaptation. And if you are young at heart and still remember the agonies of your very first crush, you’ll be sure get a kick out of this wonderfully engaging film too.