Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

earlUSA. This years movie about high school misfits. Its charming and clever and should do quite well. There was a guy outside the entrance declaiming in a loud voice that no cell phones would be allowed. He really seemed to be a lunatic, and was treated accordingly. No one looked at him or reacted in any way, just walked right by, checking their messages. This is a sign that the movie people think this film will be worth pirating.

But I have a bone to pick with all such movies. They violate the agreement between the movie and the audience. That agreement is that we, the audience, will willingly suspend our disbelief and the movie remain consistent with the universe it has created.

Most high school movies are ugly duckling stories. The unattractive socially awkward kid with nothing interesting about them finds a  place in the world and is beautiful. Now, that by itself is unrealistic, awkward maladjusted teens with weird parents are most likely to be awkward, self-conscious marginally adjusted adults. But, its a movie and we know the rules and we do not hold them to that reality. And then they go get physically attractive actors whose characters are invariably articulate and clever, and are accomplished in some offbeat but highly creative endeavor. To me, this just breaks the rules. For the role of the ugly duckling, hire a duckling who is ugly, not someone whose next role will be the young Lord Byron. Mind you, I have not attended high school in the last 45 or so years, but I doubt what we see in these movies is any more like the real thing than Archie (my personal, and unfortunate, point of reference) was in my day. Thats always so. Courtroom dramas are nothing like real legal proceedings, just for one example. But, only some of us are lawyers, everybody has been in high school. We all know the movie is cheating.

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