If you get the chance to see Me and Earl in the Dying Girl in theaters soon (and I highly recommend you do), you'll probably have just one reaction: total amazement that a story like that could ever make it to the screen. It's simply too original, too witty, too real, and unfortunately, movies like that, without many big-name stars or potential for sequels, hardly ever get green-lit. Thankfully, though, this one did, and audiences are the better for it. And having seen a tale so fascinating, you'll undoubtedly be curious about the film's origins —so is Me and Earl and the Dying Girl based on a true story?
Although the film is adapted from a book, it's from a novel, not a work of non-fiction. Jesse Andrews (who also wrote the movie's screenplay) wrote the book, whose inscription calls it "the funniest book you'll ever read about death," in 2012. Upon its debut, the novel (Andrews' first) became a New York Times bestseller and won rave reviews, with critics comparing it to The Fault in Our Stars and praising its unique sense of humor. Thankfully, the movie is just as smart, funny, and moving as the book it's based on, sure to please fans of Andrews' novel and newcomers alike. Here's why those who loved the book shouldn't worry about this Friday's adaptation:
The Story Is The Same
Both the book and the movie revolve around the same, unique story: a high school senior befriends a classmate suffering from cancer, and with the help of a friend, gets convinced to make a movie for her to see. Minor details may be changed, of course, but the basic story of Greg's senior year is there in both versions.
Andrews Wrote The Script
Part of what makes Me and Earl so special is its tone — a funny, irreverent attitude that sets it apart from many other movies. That voice is also what made the book so popular, and so fans should be thrilled that it's just as present in the movie as in the novel.
It's A Much-Needed Adaptation
As said, the vast majority of the books that got adapted into movies in the past were huge, can't-miss blockbusters: the Harry Potter series, or Lord of the Rings, or The Fault in Our Stars. Yet in the past few years, there's been a rise in movie versions of books that might be acclaimed or beloved, but aren't necessarily headline-making franchises, works like If I Stay, The Spectacular Now, Still Alice, and, of course, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. It's been thrilling to see these books get the big-screen treatment despite having a noticeable lack of zombies, vampires, or gun-wielding children, and it's a testament to the power of good stories: other things might change, but people are always interested in a well-told, relatable tale. Here's hoping the trend continues for a long, long time.
Images: Fox Searchlight Pictures (3); Getty Images