Greg Gaines (Thomas Mann) is a boy solitaire. He made a reputation of ‘neutrality’ in the secondary school, a little folk and popular neighborhoods of Pittsburgh, not belonging to any clan or group or club of some sort. For his last year before college, he made the promise not to change and continue to not have the only friend thatEarl (RJ Cyler), his ” colleague “, that he attended since childhood, and with whom he shares his passion for parodies of movies, hand-made, with two pieces of string and cardboard.
Only here, Rachel Kushner (Olivia Cooke), a neighbor that he knows little, comes to learn that she is suffering from leukemia and when the mother of Greg (Connie Britton) intimate to his son to go to the sick, the certainties of the post-teen in a little I-me-and not caring about fly to pieces. “The Dying Girl “, the dying daughter, this is obviously it. Initially reluctant, she agrees to make it up in his room. This will be their sanctuary. Over the days, Greg and Rachel grow despite them, a friendship as you do more, sincere and strange, funny and full of sadness. Together with Earl , who joined them later, they go through the ups and downs of the disease, with humor, in the light rendered yellow by the curtains to the windows in that ivory tower where the princess is suffering had fled.
The first observation of this movie is its artistic beauty. There are tracking shots of the monumental through the mess of a cafeteria, at lunch time. Plans intimate and astounding plans of stairs. The entire neighbourhood, filmed tenderly, sometimes through and sometimes at night, with its small modest houses, its grounds, the river. The office of the professor of History also, where Greg and Earl spend all day to learn, and especially eat a piece.
This beauty, Rachel lost it. She even complains about this. The more the film progresses, the more his cheeks deepened, the more his complexion turns grey, the more his eyes close. This does not stop the camera, which again fits with love, gently and without voyeurism. An image that Greg and Earl are also seeking to capture, after a friend offered to make an amateur film for Rachel, who love to make fun of the classics. More difficult to do than to accept, because this time the angle is different, the topic is real and delicate. Finished laughing.
THIS IS NOT A LOVE STORY is first and foremost a tribute a little unusual at the cinema. And not only thanks to the shorts without the pretention of the two directors in the grass, laughing respectfully of the masterpieces of the Seventh Art. The abundance of details movie-goers is, in truth, quite surprising : a father, a sociologist fan of Werner Herzog, a boutique film artisan and his handwritten labels, a poster of the 400 blows from Truffaut hung above the bed to Greg, even the haunting and the legendary original soundtrack in a cold Sweat, the Bernard Herrmann discreetly placed on a stage. As for the film, for Rachel, it has the power of healing of the wounds. This same magic that director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon has instilled in his true work, adapted by Jesse Andrews from his novel of the same name, in the form of testimony of their own high school years, their psychotherapy by the image. Here, the cinema is a remedy, powerful and beautiful.
“THIS IS NOT A LOVE STORY, proves that comedy is an integral part of the art of filmmaking.”
But THIS IS NOT A LOVE STORY is also a manifesto for ‘the comedy (even more serious). The environments that movie-goers pretentious and festivals tend to despise this kind, or at least to ignore it, preferring the pure drama, if at all, of course, is that comedy and drama are taken in their generality (every comedy is obviously different). Even the Oscars, yet a historical reference, never have been really generous in regards to the recognition of the roles so-called comedy, for example, including stunning. There has been a Helen Hunt in 1997 (For the best and the worst), or Kevin Kline in 1988 (A fish called Wanda), and why not Jean Dujardin and The Artist. I want for accuracy reveals that THIS IS NOT A LOVE STORY, that I could see on the occasion of the Washington, D. C. Film Festival, had been classified by the organizers in the category of ” The Lighter Side “, in other words one of the films called “light” or feel-good movies. This is not totally justified, in my eyes, and the second part of the film contains much more inevitable moments more serious. THIS IS NOT A LOVE STORY, proves that comedy is in any case an integral part of the art of filmmaking, that it may as well talk about serious things and discuss issues that affect them.
Accordingly, and by way of conclusion, let us say that the drama should not have the monopoly of emotion and cinematic. The Grand Jury Prize of Sundance 2015 draws his last strength in this. I’m admittedly easily transported by a film. But a long time ago that I had not had tears at the cinema. This was the case in front of Greg, Earl and Rachel, in front of their unwavering faith and the sobriety of their emotions and not selected, to flower of skin. As one should always say so, thank you for this moment…
+ Review #2 : THIS IS NOT A LOVE STORY
+ Review #1 : THIS IS NOT A LOVE STORY
+ Trailer THIS IS NOT A LOVE STORY • Original title : Me and Earl and The Dying Girl
• Achievement : Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
• Screenplay : Jesse Andrews (II)
• Main actors : Thomas Mann (II), Olivia Cooke, RJ Cyler
• Country of origin : U. S. A
• Released : November 18, 2015
• Duration : 1h46
• Distributor : Twentieth Century Fox France
• Synopsis : Greg is a high school student introvert, a lover of self-deprecating humor, who intends to finish his one-year Terminal as discreetly as possible. He spends most of his time with his only friend, Earl, to remake their own versions of great classic movies. But his willingness to go unnoticed is challenged when his mother forces him to revisit Rachel, an old friend of the mother suffering from leukemia.