Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Greg has managed to become part of every social group at his Pittsburgh high school without having any friends, but his life changes when his mother forces him to befriend Rachel, a girl he once knew in Hebrew school who has leukemia.
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director(s): Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Production: Fox Searchlight
  17 wins & 29 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
105 min

I have no idea

how to tell this story.

I don't even know

how to start it.

Like, I guess I could use

one of those classic

story beginning sentences.

"It was the best of times;

it was the worst of times."

But what would that even mean?

I mean, obviously,

somewhere in the world,

it's the best of times

for someone.

Like he's eating all this insane

Vietnamese food

he just got for free...

...and the woman

who delivered the food

looks exactly like the hot

girl from P*ssy Riot

and now she's situated

in the corner

playing unspeakably beautiful

melodies on the harp.

While he's just going to town

on that food.

So, yeah,

that's the best of times.

Meanwhile, some other guy

is having

his will broken

by professional torturers...

over a crocodile-infested

pool of acid.

And because it's acid,

these crocodiles

are just pissed.

And they're also piping in

that gross smell you get...

...when they spill

a bunch of milk

in the school parking lot.

And this beefy torture dude

is just punching

the hell out of him.


All right, look.

I'll just start.

This is the story of

my senior year of high school

and how it destroyed my life.

And how I made a film so bad,

it literally killed someone.

I used to think about it

this way:

Schenley High School

was a world unto itself.

By senior year, I had mastered

the languages and customs

of its various sovereign states.

The head nods of Jock Nation.

The fist bumps

of the Kingdom of Stoners.

The innocuous witticisms of

The People's Republic

of Theater Dorks.

Greg, how was your summer?

Summer. What does that word

even mean?

Like, more "summ"?

In a typical high school life,

you belong to one nation...

...which can never

guarantee you total security.

But I thought

I found a way out.

Get citizenship in every nation.

Get passports to everywhere.

Just be on low-key

good terms with everyone...

...casually interact with them

once in a while... a way that is invisible

to everyone else.

Never commit to an interaction

that won't be casual or mellow.

Your test was today?

Ugh. Tests!

I've been there.

That's like sending troops

to Afghanistan.

Maintain relationships

with citizens

of the most

dicked-upon nations.

For example, Scott Mayhew,

the gothy dork

I'm sitting next to here.

Scott, nice Berserker.

Thank you?

It took years of cultivation

to win his trust.

Or the universally

ostracized Ill Phil.

Truly a nation of one.

And there were some

places I simply couldn't go.

Like the cafeteria.

Every last square inch of it

was disputed territory.

It was Crimea, Kashmir,

and the Gaza Strip

all rolled into one.

Also the part of

the Indian Ocean with pirates.

Captain Phillips pirates,

not Pirates of the Caribbean.

Although, actually, who knows?

Maybe both.

Instead, I always ate lunch

in the office

of my history teacher.

Mr. McCarthy.


I'm in 309 for

the next... 20 minutes.

The only reasonable adult

in all of Schenley.


Respect the research.

With Earl,

whose role in my life

I'm not even gonna try to

explain to you right now.

The harmony of overwhelming

and collective murder.

Hot girls destroy your life.

It doesn't matter if the hot

girl is also a good person.

She's a moose,

you're a chipmunk.

She's just wandering through

the forest, oblivious.

And she doesn't even know that

she stomped on your head.

Hey, Madison.

Hey, how was your summer?

Summer. What does that word

even mean, right?

More "summ."

Winter, same deal.

More "wint"?

McCarthy's in 309.

Great, thanks.

To become humbled

in front of

this overwhelming misery...

...and overwhelming


and overwhelming lack of order.


Honey, can we come in?

Jesus, Jesus!

Yeah. What do you want?

First of all,

I was going through...

...your stuff

and I saw that you

have not even unwrapped

your college directory.

Mom, don't go through my stuff.

We discussed it, and she gets

to go through your stuff.

Just have a look.

It's fun.

It's like a menu

for your future.

What are you in the mood for?

Some Penn State?

Some Pepperdine?

Pomona? Princeton?

I'm not getting into Princeton.

He's not getting into Princeton.

Um, so, is that it?

No, honey, it's not it.

Your father and I want to talk to you

about something kind of sad.


What happened?

Well, I just got off the phone

with Denise Kushner,

Rachel's mom. You know Denise?

Um, not really.

You're friends

with Rachel, though.

Yeah, I mean,

we're like, acquainted.

Come here.


Rachel's been diagnosed

with leukemia.

They just found out.

Your test was today?

Ugh. Tests! I've been there.

Oh, God.

Is that serious?

They're doing

all kinds of tests.

They're doing

everything they can.

They just don't know.

Man, that sucks.

You're right.

It sucks.

It sucks really bad.

It sucks quite a bit.


Dad, Cat Stevens is clawing me.

Well, he's deeply distraught.

Well, you know,

I was talking to Denise...

...and Denise feels that

you might be someone...

...who could make

Rachel feel better.

Yeah, but like I said,

we're not really friends, so...

Just give Rachel a call.

Yeah, well, what do you

want me to say?

"Hey, it's Greg, the guy who's

"never really paid

attention to you...

"...but now you have cancer,

so let's hang out"?

That's not gonna work.

She'll think

you're being sarcastic.

Rate this script:3.0 / 1 vote

Jesse Andrews

Jesse Andrews is an American novelist and screenwriter. He co-wrote the screenplay for Luca and wrote both the novel and the feature-film adaptation of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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