After being picked up by Fox Searchlight in a record-breaking deal, the teen dramedy Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is proving to be one of the biggest hits of this year’s Sundance Festival. With its quirky film references and heartwarming portrayal of teenage friendship, the film is drawing impressive crowds at the festival and should attract both cinephiles and casual moviegoers alike upon wide release later in the year.
Often compared to last year’s coming-of-age cancer drama The Fault in Our Stars, though perhaps less of a tearjerker, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl centers on the friendship between Greg, a withdrawn film geek, and Rachel, a girl who has just been diagnosed with leukemia. Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and based on the novel by Jesse Andrews (who also wrote the screenplay), the film features newcomers Thomas Mann (Greg) and Olivia Cooke (Rachel) alongside crowd-pleasers Connie Britton, Nick Offerman, and Molly Shannon.
The hype surrounding Me and Earl is similar to that of last year’s Whiplash, which has received widespread critical acclaim and received five Oscar nods. It’s too early to tell whether Me and Earl will be able to match that level of praise after its theatrical release, but it is easily the audience favorite at Sundance, and the buzz around it will almost certainly increase in the coming months.