I’ve watched this Max movie more than 10 times — and you need to stream it this weekend

(L-R) Olivia Cooke as Rachel Kushner, Thomas Mann as Greg Gaines and RJ Cyler as Earl Jackson in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
(Image credit: Atlaspix / Alamy Stock Photo / Fox Searchlight Pictures)

It’s hard to explain how much I adore “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl”. I was fortunate enough to catch this comedy-drama on the big screen when it was released in theaters almost a decade ago, and it instantly became one of my favorite movies ever made. 

Since that first viewing in a local independent movie theater, I’ve bought it on DVD, digital and Blu-ray (still awaiting that 4K disc release), read the novel of the same name that it’s based on twice, and have rewatched the Alfonso Gomez-Rejon-directed movie so many times that I’ve officially lost count — I stopped tracking after hitting double digits. 

Unsurprisingly, I strongly recommend you watch this amazing movie. If you need something that will make you laugh, and also ugly cry, this weekend, then “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” is currently available on Max, so get streaming it now …

“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” is a coming-of-age masterpiece

“Me and Earl and the Dying Girls” is based on the 2012 novel by Jesse Andrews and centers on Greg Gaines (Thomas Mann). Greg is a socially awkward 17-year-old on a mission to float through high school without any drama. But Greg's quest to be anonymous is ruined when his parents force him to befriend one of his classmates, Rachel Kushner (Olivia Cooke), who’s recently been diagnosed with leukemia. 

Alongside his best friend (or as Greg calls him his “co-worker”), Earl (RJ Cyler), the two try to comfort Rachel in her hour of need. Firstly, by showing her their collection of homemade parody movies, and then by creating a new movie specifically for her.  

However, as Rachel’s illness gets worse, and Greg’s neurotic habits cause a rift in his friendship with Earl, the emotional stakes are raised, and the social outcast is forced to reckon with the fact that caring for the people might not be so bad after all. 

(Don’t worry, you’ll be pleased to know that Rachel doesn’t die in the end.)

Olivia Cooke as Rachel Kushner in "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl"

(Image credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures/Entertainment Pictures)

There’s so much I love about this movie that it’s hard to know where to start, but it’s arguably the smart screenplay and the note-perfect performance from Thomas Mann that rank at the top of my long list of likes. “Me and Earl and the Dying Girls” is stuffed with laser-sharp wit, much of the comedy coming thanks to Mann’s committed performance in the key role. Huge credit to Mann, he makes a character who could have been an unlikeable loser extremely compelling and relatable. 

Although, Cooke and Cyler are equally fantastic as Rachel and Early respectively. In particular, Cooke does phenomenally well with some very heavy material. Plus, I can’t overlook the fantastic supporting performances from Nick Offerman, Molly Shannon, Connie Britton and Jon Bernthal who all contribute to the stellar cast list.

As a massive movie buff, I also love all the references to classic movies found in Greg and Earl’s homemade projects. Favorites include their spin on “Midnight Cowboy”, which they call “2:48 p.m. Cowboy, or when they turn Hitchcock’s classic “Vertigo” into “Vere’d He Go?”. These gags only last seconds, so don’t worry if you’re not a cinema history swot, but they’re delightful for engaged viewers who spot them.   

This feel-good movie will warm your soul

(R-L) RJ Cyler as Earl Jackson, Nick Offerman as Victor Gaines and Thomas Mann as Greg Gaines in "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl"

(Image credit: Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo / Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” is the perfect blend of comedy and drama. It’s a movie that will make you laugh plenty, but also sobbing at a few key moments, but as the credits roll I practically guarantee that you’ll have a big smile on your face and your heart will be full.

I’ve spent the last few years recommending this amazing movie to pretty much anybody who will listen, and I’m yet to hear a negative report back. And if you need extra motivation to watch, it holds 82% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and an even stronger 86% from viewers. Clearly, I’m not the only one with a great fondness for this coming-of-age flick. right now

The biggest compliment I can give “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” is that after a dozen watches, I’m still not bored of this movie. Even the simple act of writing this article has made me itch to squeeze in another rewatch this weekend. If you’ve never watched it before, I greatly envy you. I’d love to experience it for the first time again! 

“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” is streaming on Max right now

More from Tom's Guide

Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.