Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015) Script

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 Pussy 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.

Check.

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...

...in 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.

Fact:

I'm in 309 for the next... 20 minutes.

The only reasonable adult in all of Schenley.

Heathens.

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 fornication and overwhelming lack of order.

Titties.

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?

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.

Okay.

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.

Yeah.

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.

Are you telling me you can't do one nice thing for another person?

I mean, honestly, is that really what's happening here?

Fine. Okay.

Just, please don't go through my stuff.

Or I'll start going through your stuff.

I hope you like tampons.

It's Central Pittsburgh on 90.5...

This is Rachel.

Hey, it's Greg Gaines.

Hi.

Yo!

So, I called a doctor...

...he said you needed a prescription of Greg-acil.

What's that?

Uh...

It's me.

In convenient gel-tab form.

Oh.

Yeah.

So, I guess you heard I'm sick.

Yeah.

Did my mom tell you?

Um, well, my mom told me.

Oh.

So, um...

What?

What?

What were you gonna say?

Um...

Greg, what?

Uh, yeah, I was just calling to see if you wanted to hang out.

Right now?

Um, sure.

No, thanks.

Oh.

Okay, so you don't wanna hang out?

No. Thanks anyways.

Okay. Um, bye.

Bye.

Mom, what are you doing?

Okay, Mom, listen, she doesn't want to see me.

I'm sorry to be the one to tell you, Gregory...

...that you do not have a choice in this particular matter.

Mom, please, let me say one thing for one second.

You have been given an opportunity to make a very real difference in someone's life.

And if what you're choosing instead is to lie around the house all day...

She doesn't want to see me!

...I will be required to step in...

We're not even friends!

...and inform you that that is 100% unacceptable.

Your nonstop stream of words is making me freak out!

And if you think that all these excuses you're making are in any way better...

...or more important, than the happiness of a girl with cancer...

Mom! I am now entering a subhuman state.

...a friend with cancer, you are sadly mistaken, my friend.

You are going to pick up that phone.

You're going to call Rachel again.

You are going to. You are going to.


Oh, Greg.

Oh, Mrs. Kushner.

Denise, Greg.

To you, I'm Denise, okay?

Oh, okay. Good.

You're a real good kid, you know that?

You really are. You just have a big heart.

You're kind, nice.

I really appreciate it.

Thank you.

Good, good, good, good, good...

...good boy.

Okay.

You really are kind, big-hearted, delicious...

...yummy, yummy, young boy.

And you're so, so, handsome.

Oh, I'm not handsome, but thank you.

And so modest.

I guess I'm a modest mouse.

Greg, where do you come up with this stuff?

Well, that's the name of a band, actually.

Oh. Yeah.

Rachel!

I've got a modest little mouse here to see you!

Rachel.

Greg, what are you doing here?

So, uh...

...the doctor really recommends a strong dosage of Gregitor.

You already used that joke.

No.

No, 'cause last time it was about Greg-acil...

...which if you recall comes in convenient gel-tab form.

Look, I don't want you hanging out with me.

I don't need your stupid pity.

It's fine, you can just go.

No, no.

You got it all wrong. I'm not here 'cause I pity you.

I'm actually here because my mom is making me.

That's actually worse.

Yeah, I know.

Look, it's okay. Honestly, I'm fine. Just... just go.

Okay, Rachel, just listen to me for a second.

My mom is gonna turn my life into a living hell...

...if I don't hang out with you.

I can't overstate how annoying she's being about this.

She's basically like the LeBron James of nagging.

LeBron James plays basketball.

I know who LeBron James is.

Look, I know I'm not doing you any favors here.

What I'm asking is for you to do me a favor.

You want a favor from me?

Yes.

Just let me hang out with you for one day.

I could tell my mom we hung out and then we'll just be out of each other's lives.

Deal?

Deal.

Word.

Is that a Black Power salute?

No, I was going in for a fist bump.

I can't fist bump you from up here.

Yeah, I realize that.

Books.

Nice.

And, uh...

...tree wallpaper.

That's good.

Why?

I don't know.


There's a lot of pillows in here.

Mmm-hmm.

Seriously, like, how many... how many pillows is that?

I don't know.

I wish I had that many pillows.

So, ask your parents for some.

No, they'd be suspicious or something.

What, that you'd sleep all the time?

No. Probably assume I was gonna masturbate all over them.

They just have some gross ideas about me.

But that's on them.

They're always getting sexy pillows.

This is a nice pillow.

This pillow is a dude, obviously...

...but it reminds me of this pillow we used to have named Francesca.

They have a similar coloring.

Anyway, Francesca, we had to eventually give away because in the end...

...that whole situation was just a real problem.

It was a mess.

There was a real chemistry between us both that I think no one could deny.

I know the world may have thought it was wrong...

...but I think, personally, the world was wrong...

...about what could be between...

...a pillow, and a boy...

...who became a man.

Or whatever. I'm just...

...trying to be funny.

No, that was good. Thank you.

Oh, shit.

I actually have to go.

That's okay. Who was that?

Sorry. Uh, that was Earl.

Oh, who's Earl?

You may remember Earl from 15 minutes ago.

Titties.

So, some people think Earl is my friend, but he's really not.

He's more like a coworker.

I've known him since kindergarten.

His house is a short walk from mine, but in a much tougher neighborhood.

His dad is in Texas, his mom is a depressed shut-in.

And his brother Derrick's dog Doopie will definitely eat me someday.

Doopie, Doopie, chill!

So over the years we've mostly hung out at my place.

Usually with my dad, a tenured sociology professor.

What you got, cat? You wanna fight?

Didn't think so, punk-ass cat.

Boys! - His job allows him to be frequently at home doing nothing.

You'll want to pay close attention to this.

The insane conquistador, Aguirre, is raging through the jungle...

...in search of a golden city that doesn't exist.

The wrath of God.

It's a classic of foreign cinema.

Who else is with me?

In addition to the best films...

This is cuttlefish.

...my house also has the weirdest food.

A sea creature much like a squid.

It is a favorite East Asian snack food.

Obviously we come from pretty different backgrounds.

But somehow, we like most of the same things.

Yes, its smell is odd and repellent to our Western noses.

And we learned pretty early on that we were the only ones who liked...

...for example, classics of foreign cinema.

Why did we like them?

It's hard to say.

Maybe it's that they were weird and often violent, like us.

Or confusing and possibly meaningless, like life.

You can't escape of this stinkin' camp because you never know when they call you.

Because you're paid for, you're under contract.

Anyway, we liked them so much we started making our own.

Action!

The idea behind each one was...

...we took a film that we liked and made the title stupider.

And then made a new film to reflect the new stupid title.

It's a formula that only produces horrible films...

...but for some reason we keep using it.


We've made 42 films.

You'd think we'd have stopped making them by now.

But we haven't.

Honestly, it's like you can't go anywhere.

You can't escape this stinking place...

...because you don't know when they call you... and you're paid to be here, it's bullshit.

Yeah, and it's like, you know, I can't do anything. I'm not a free person.

Truly, one of my favorites from your oeuvre.

A mature investigation into the nature of violence.

Dad, for like the billionth time, you're not allowed to watch these.

I'm a fan.

You gonna go see that girl again?

I mean, probably, yeah.

You gonna play with them titties?

No. It's not like that.

Well, that's not right.

I mean, this could be her last chance on Earth to be with a man.

Don't make this about you.

Earl!

First of all, if it's that high-stakes, probably won't even be able to get a boner.

Did I even say shit about boners?

No.

What kind of cancer even is acute myelogenous leukemia?

You know, cancer of the, uh...

...the thing.

It's bullshit!

The Battle of Antietam was the bloodiest day in American history.

Class, what do you have to say for yourselves?

Respect the research.

That is what I'm talking about!

All right, run for your lives.

Save yourselves. Go, go, go, go, go.

Good work today, everybody.

Way to go. Bam. Love it. Good stuff.

Good job. Excellent work today.

Excellent. Nice job. Hey, can I talk to you?

Can I talk to you for a second?

Sure, Greg, what's up?

Uh, do you know any facts about leukemia?

Leukemia?

Yeah, it's a cancer of the blood and/or bone marrow.

Why?

Right, so it's pretty spread out in the body?

That is a fact, yes.

How soon do people die from it?

I think it's often pretty treatable, bud.

Why do you ask?

Well, you know Rachel Kushner has leukemia, right?

Wait, Rachel has what?

I'm, like, innovatively stupid.

Everyone was gonna find out sooner or later.

Just hate having to share everything about myself.

I'm the exact same way.

You know, one thing you can do if you don't want to talk to anyone...

...is just enter a subhuman state.

Here, pretend you're someone annoying.

"Hi, Rachel.

"I'm really sorry you have cancer."

Does that ever work?

Yeah, of course. It works all the time.

It's called passive resistance.

You know, that's what Gandhi was all about.

I'm pretty sure Gandhi never did the subhuman thing.

That's how India achieved statehood. Here, try it.

Nope.

Come on, it's easy.

Okay. Or another thing you can do is just flat-out pretend to be dead.

Say something annoying to me.

Um...

"Hey, Rachel. I just want you to remember

"that your cancer is all part of God's plan."

Hey, asshole.

Yeah, over here.

Just so we're straight on this, you're advising a girl with cancer...

...to pretend to be dead.

No, seriously.

Think about what you're doing here, dickhead.

I've been doing my broody Wolverine face on this girl's wall...

...for five and a quarter years, and at this point, I'm probably only still here...

...because she'd feel weirdly guilty or disloyal taking me down.

But I'm goddamned if I'm letting a little punk like you waltz in here...

...stupiding up the place!

Not on my watch, pal.

Greg, what's wrong?

I'm really sorry.

I shouldn't have told you to pretend to be dead.

That was really insensitive.

I mean, I'm sick. I'm not dying.

Yeah, I know, but I just...

Now I'm being all weird about it.

And I can't get un-weird, 'cause I just...

Despite what you said, I'm clearly still sitting here thinking...

..."death, death, death, death, death, death."

That's exactly what I'm talking about!

So if this was a touching romantic story...

...this is probably where a new feeling would wash over me... and suddenly we would be furiously making out...

...with the fire of a thousand suns.

But this isn't a touching romantic story.

Anyway... Yep.

But we did still become friends.

Daniel Craig's thing is, he's got an accent, right?

So he's used to talking with his mouth in a weird shape...

...which is why he has pouty lips, like a woman.

Lickable technology, like, I could text you a sandwich.

There's a button on the nape of his neck, under the skin.

Just push it if you want him to stop.

Do you believe animals just live in our house, and everyone's cool with it?

Like, real animals?

Anyway. You talk now.

You mean, talk about cancer?

Only if you want to.

The hardest part is watching my mom trying to deal with it all.

And sometimes, I mean, I do think if it ends up that she's alone in that house...

She has no one. She and my dad hate each other.

She has no siblings.

I don't know what she'd do.

Don't cry.

I'm not crying.

Right, well, you know, you can cry if you need to.

I thought you said, "Don't cry."

Me and my dad used to walk around the block and count squirrels.

Why? Did he work for, like, the squirrel census?

No, it was just something we did when it was time for us to spend time together.

We didn't even say anything while we did it.

All we'd say was stuff like:

"Squirrel, seven." "Two squirrels, nine."

Jesus. You need to apply for a dad refund immediately.

What group am I in?

What?

Yesterday you were saying you'd mapped out the entire high school by group.

What's my group?

Seriously? Yeah.

Boring Jewish Senior Girls, Subgroup 2-A.

Please appreciate how honest I was just now.

You're an asshole.

What group are you in?

Uh, I'm not in a group, actually.

I just wouldn't belong to a group that doesn't suck.

You know, I'm terminally awkward and I have a face like a little groundhog.

So...

You can't really think that.

No, I don't think that.

I know that.

I just feel like, you know, for a kid like me...

...in high school, best case scenario, just... survive. You know?

Survive without creating any mortal enemies...

...or hideously embarrassing yourself forever.

Just survive until college?

College? No. God, college is going to be even worse.

What?

I mean, at least high school, it's over at 3:00...

...and it's kids I mostly know by now.

But college is just gonna be non-stop strangers.

And some of them even live in your room.

It's like you can literally never relax.

I see myself dying of a panic attack two weeks in.

I might just not apply.

That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard you say.

It's probably not even top five.

And, you know, high school, college, we're forced to spend these years of our lives...

...in randomly selected groups of people that we have nothing in common with.

It's a nightmare.

Anyone who says otherwise is lying.

Congratulations, Greg.

Tomorrow, you're eating lunch with Boring Jewish Senior Girls, Subgroup 2-A.

So where do you usually sit?

It's literally like we're trying to have lunch in Kandahar.

Rachel, we just found out the theme for this year's prom:

"A Knight to Remember."

Knight with a "K." Medieval prom!

Isn't prom like six months away?

Hi, guys. This is Greg, he's gonna be sitting with us today.

Anybody need any spoons? No?

Hello.

So, Greg, why are you sitting with us today?

You know, it's lunch.

You gotta eat somewhere. Can't stand and eat.

You and Rachel seem very friendly, all of a sudden.

Yeah.

You're only talking to her because she has cancer.

What?

Greg, you hung out with Rachel once.

You're befriending her to feel good about yourself.

No, I'm not.

Who even does that?

You guys mind if I sit with you?

Of course not.

Sorry, it's a...

It's a pillow. It's meant to be a baby, for health class.

You think it's safe here?

A pillow?

Greg, what do you think?

Mmm, I don't know.

Better not get it too close to me, otherwise I might just masturbate onto it.

Ew, Greg, that's just weird and gross.

Hey, everyone, check out Scott Mayhew's Tyrannosaurus walk.

It's a great way to get from point A to point B.

That was really mean, Greg.

I think he heard you.

And just like that...

...eight years of carefully-cultivated invisibility... gone.

Fin.

Your mom made cookies?

Nah, I won them off of Ill Phil in a game of tonk.

Got tired of whooping your sorry ass.

Why do they even call it Scholar Horizons Biology?

Maybe they should call it Scholar Horizons Tonk.

Or Sometimes Paper Football.

Heathens.

What up? Hi, Mr. McCarthy.

Wow.

Earl, fact, that lunch is garbage.

You're literally poisoning yourself right in front of us.

At least I ain't eating no funky ass seaweed-looking tentacle soup.

Seriously, this stuff is the business.

It's Vietnamese. It's called Pho.

It is "Pho-nomenal."

Well, let me try some one time.

Mmm.

Now you want to try some? Yeah.

Well, no.

It's strictly forbidden for me to give you food.

However, if you go to...

...Thuyen's Super Saigon Flavor over in Lawrenceville...

...and ask for Thuyen.

Tell him to put it on my tab. You'll be all set.

I ain't going to no damn Lawrenceville.

Fair enough.

You'll have to excuse me.

Boys.

Respect the research.

Respect!

God! You know, people just assume that Rachel and I are dating.

It's ruining my life.

Today I threatened to sexually assault a fake baby.

And I became mortal enemies with Scott Mayhew.

Both of which are Rachel's fault.

Sorry, but they just are.

Of course I'm a dick for complaining about it.

I mean, I am a dick for complaining about it.

I didn't actually mean any of that.

Better play with them titties.

Does this taste strange to you?


The soup had drugs.

Whoa!

McCarthy must've put weed in that soup because my brain is trying to eat itself.

Oh, my God.

I have to go visit Rachel right now.

Okay, well, you do that.

I'ma be at your house eatin' up all your dad's food.

No! You have to come help!

Help with what?

Help!

Hey, in class, do McCarthy act all, like, stoned and shit?

Uh, I don't know. I guess.

Yeah, sometimes.

Well, not sometimes, but you know what I'm... You know how he is.

Goddamn, son.

You can't even put a full damn sentence together.

It's insane that Mr. McCarthy eats soup with drugs in it.

Hey, come on, man, keep your damn voice down.

We can't tell anyone we're on drugs.

Why the hell not?

Because then they'll know.

It's my humble little mouse.

And who is his little mouse friend?

Earl Jackson.

Earl's just my coworker, and, uh, he's a great guy.

We were just walking around the neighborhood, you know.

Not really doing anything, and just wanted to come say "What's up?"

'Cause Rachel's about to lose her hair.

Mmm. So, just wanted to say, you know, "Bye, hair. Good riddance."

She's gonna look great without hair. That's a fact, so...

Yeah, I just wanted to say what's up.

Rachel! We've got two cute little mouse boys on our doorstep that wanna say hi!

Would you two... mice like a little bit of cheese?

Okay.

I like your room, Rachel.

Thanks. Greg thinks it's too girly.

No, I love girly, I think it's fine.

Well, it ain't too girly.

"Yo, this some pink puffy bullshit."

I mean, Hello Kitty posters and chocolate and naked dudes all over the wall.

They make me want to throw up for real.

Hey, if you're gonna throw up, don't do it in here, okay?

This is her room.

Anyways.

Rachel, we really just wanted to see how you was doin'.

Thanks.

Yeah, chemotherapy. That really sucks.

Greg.

What the hell, bro? Don't say it suck, dumb-ass!

It does kinda suck.

Yeah, but I mean, you gotta do what you gotta do.

Yeah, I guess.

Um...

Uh...

Look, you guys can go if you want.

We're on drugs. Oh, shit!

Why are you on drugs?

Well, we're accidentally on drugs.

"Accidentally"?

McCarthy gave us some soup.

Well, McCarthy gave us some of his, you know, just regular, normal soup...

...but then, it was the last of the soup so we had to go get some more...

...from a restaurant, on the fifth floor of an office building.

And in the same building, there was a Jamaican embassy...

...and we ended up getting trapped in an elevator with a Rastafarian guy...

...and he just hotboxed the whole elevator, so...

We were stuck in there for, like, 25 minutes...

...and we had to breathe the weird marijuana air.

Earl, am I right?

That's exactly what happened.

You guys had quite an adventure.

Being on drugs just really sucks.

Being around people on drugs sucks.

This whole situation, really sorry, just sucks. I'm sorry.

Yo, yo. What the hell is your problem, man?

All apologetic and shit, making shit 'bout your sorry ass.

Look, that's not what we came here to do. Okay?

You wanna help, you gonna take this girl out to get some ice cream.

And me, too, 'cause I love that shit.

You like ice cream?

Yeah.

So, you know Greg from class?

I've known Greg ever since we were little.

You know, I was in y'all kindergarten, right?

Really?

Mmm-hmm. I remember you.

You was the girl who called Justin Jones perverted...

...for showing girls the birthmark on his butt.

Oh, my God, yes!

Yeah, dude came running up, showed you his butt. You were calm.

Said, "Justin, only perverts show their butts."

I was right there.

I can't believe you remember that.

You a hero. Shut his perverted ass right down.

I never forget it.

So you and Greg are coworkers?

Naw, we friends.

He just hates calling people his friend. Dude's got issues.

Yeah, he does. What's going on?

Man, I don't even know. It might be his folks.

I mean, dude's mom always tellin' him how handsome he is, which he ain't.

So now he think he can't trust anybody close to him.

Dude's weird-ass dad don't socialize with anybody 'cept the cat.

So that's a role model ain't got no friends.

Bottom line, dude's terrified of callin' somebody his friend...

...and they sayin', "Hey, bro, I'm not your friend."

Then he'd have to kill himself.

But how are you coworkers?

We, um, we make films.

Movies?

Yeah. We been making them for a few years now.

We have, like, 42 in total.

Greg! You never told me.

Well, we never told anybody 'bout them.

They suck. I mean, they're terrible.

I'm pretty sure they don't suck.

Well, you can see for yourself if you want.

Are you sure?

Hell, yeah, don't even worry about it.

Just don't tell nobody.

No, of course, I won't.

All right, son, get on your feet.

Sounds good.

Where are we going?


We can walk you home.

He needs to recover, and you probably should look after him.

Peace, peace.

Thanks. Bye.

Goddamn it, Earl.

Son, don't even start.

Pig's foot.

So, we're pretty far into this stupid story now...

...and you're probably saying to yourself, "Hey. I like this girl Rachel.

"And I'm gonna be pissed if she dies at the end." don't freak out. She survives.

So, hopefully, that reassures you.

Although, actually, why would it?

I'm just overwhelmed with your enthusiasm today.

I guess we're just gonna have to do it the old-fashioned way.

I'm thinking of one of you.

I'm not gonna mention any names, but your initials...

...are Scott Mayhew.

Greg's been telling everyone your soup has marijuana in it.

I didn't tell anyone.

I heard you bellowing about it on public transit.

Is that a fact, Greg?

Look, yesterday, Earl and I got stoned somehow.

And it was after we both ate your soup.

And we didn't smoke any marijuana, which I have never done, so...

Your soup must have drugs in it, 'cause that was the only thing we both ate...

...other than some cookies we got from Ill Phil, the drug dealer.

Aha.

Man, how did you not know it was the cookies?

Man, it was your dumb ass yelling that shit on the bus.

Yo, Greg!

Did you snitch on me?

He did snitch on you!

I was there.

I heard you ridiculing me in front of your loathsome harem.

You have made... a mortal enemy.

And I will never stop hounding you.

Yeah, you made two mortal enemies. I stabbed a dude.

Jesus.


So they haven't really done anything.

It's been about a month now.

They did say they're never gonna stop hounding me...

...so, sooner or later... you know...

...gonna get hounded.

Sorry, next time I'll bring you some flowers.

Though I don't even know where I'd put them.

It's like, like the only place left is the barf bucket.

Flowers.

Where you barf.

I like that hat.

It's pretty cute.

Look, I've never been very beautiful...

...and that's fine because that's not important to me.

But...

I thought it'd be easier looking like this.

It's just not.

Everyone comes in here and sees me...

...and they're so clearly repulsed.

It's so much harder than I thought it would be.

Hey, come on.

You look good.

I'm ugly, Greg! I'm so ugly.

Everyone feels like they have to lie to me and no one realizes how insulting that is.

Everyone thinks they're helping, and they're not.

Here.

That one's called Mono Rash.

It's based on Rashomon by Kurosawa.

Plot's basically just Earl killing people

'cause he has a rash...

...from mono, you know, the STD.

Anyway, we're supposed to go work on our homage to Apocalypse Now.

Ours is called A Box O' Lips, Wow, which is even worse than Mono Rash.

It's a war movie where these two guys take part in the unspeakable brutality of war...

...and then they find a box of tulips.

Box O' Lips, yeah. And they're just, "Wow."

They can't get over how great these tulips are, it's like, "A box o' lips, wow!"

The worst part is, tulips might not even be in the budget anymore.

I should actually just stay here and keep you from watching that.

No! I'm fine. Go make it.

Okay.

Okay. Have fun watching this incredibly terrible movie.

Mmm. Have fun making the next one. Mmm-hmm.


Hey, white boy!

Why don't you make me a tulip 'fore I have Doopie come down there and eat your face?

But no, for real. Can you make me a tulip?

Oh, my God! Am I on set right now?

Oh, damn! Oh, my God!

Ahh! I can't take it! Action! Cut!

Madison, why are you here?

Rachel said that I could find you here...

...and your phone was going straight to voice mail.

Probably 'cause there ain't no good service down there!

But I had to get here 'cause I had to let you know.

So, I was visiting Rachel, and I was giving her a card...

...and she was watching one of your secret movies.

Oh, my God. Wait, did you see any of it?

No! No, she turned it off immediately.

It was good, it was good.

You know, you're both Japanese, and...

...Earl beheaded you, and, but then, she, like, turned it off.

But I had a brainstorm. Okay? I had an amazing brainstorm.

I realized... you need to make a film for Rachel.

What do you think?

It would be like her favorite thing in the entire world...

...and it's like the most important thing you could do.

You have to do it.

Yeah, word.

"Word"? Like, word, you'll do it, word?

Yep.

Oh, my God, awesome!

Okay, well, I can't wait to see it.

Um, okay, I gotta go, but...

Cut!

That's a wrap!

Rolling!

Titties.

Goddamn it!

In the next few weeks, did I start making that movie? No.

Because I didn't agree to make that movie.

All I said was, "Word."

"Word" could mean anything.

Plus, we had at least a month or two... all the terrible films we'd already made.

For example, A Sockwork Orange.


"Droogle"?

It's Google for droogs.

What's that?

Nothing, just the bane of my existence.

Which my mom is forcing me to carry around until I apply to some colleges.

She says it's like a menu for my future, and I was, like, "Sure.

"A menu that only has food

"that will humiliate me for four years."

You have to be less of an idiot about college.

Listen, even if you think people won't like you...

...which is literally an insane thing to think...

...you're way less exposed to people in college.

High school is 40 hours of class a week.

College is, like, 15 and 20.

And if you don't want to live with other people, then go to Pittsburgh State.

Live at home.

It's better than sitting college out because you irrationally hate yourself.

Not irrationally, though.

Apply to Pittsburgh State.

Right now. Apply early.

Come on. Do it in front of me. Apply to Pittsburgh State.

What if I say no?

I have stage four cancer.

So that would be a pretty dick move. Come on.

Fine.

"Why I want to go... to college."

By Werner Herzog.

The highly selective admissions process...

...weeds out the cruel and the stupid.

So college is unlike the senseless chaos...

...and sickening enormity of high school.

High school is the mouth of a great demon...

...biting and chewing and smushing people in the face.

It is simply overwhelming.

In all seriousness, I am looking forward to college...

...because I didn't really fit in in high school, because of my weird rodent face...

No.

...and a habit of saying the dumbest possible shit.

No!

The sheer pastiness of my complexion...

...overwhelms all who behold it with existential nausea.

"In high school, I never truly felt comfortable...

"...in my own skin.

"In fact, I've always been someone...

"...who doesn't really like themselves.

"But I think that's because I have some growing up to do...

"...and college is the place where I'm going to do it."

That's way too personal.

Fine, if you want to see this again...

Okay! Okay!

But only because cancer.

And you know what? You have to do this too now. Here.

Page through this huge, horrible book and find some colleges.

That's yours now.

Mmm. It's like a menu for your future.

Can I finish my movie first?


So, if we make this film, people are gonna be, like:

"Oh, Greg and Earl, "they're those weird filmmakers.

"They're always creepily filming stuff.

"They'll probably sneak into your house one night

"and film you while you're sleeping."

But people probably already think that, So now, I've become completely conspicuous, like all the time.

People look at me and think, "Filmmaker." The hell even is this?

When they're not already thinking, "Cancer girl's boyfriend."

It tastes like a dog's funky-ass butthole.

Furthermore, we agreed to do a film that we have no idea what it should look like...

...or sound like, or even be.

I mean, what the hell sort of film should we even make? Huh?

I mean, what was I thinking?

You were thinking that girl Madison had nice titties.

I mean, I like the titties too, but now you got a problem.

'Cause I ain't agreed to do this shit.

You did.

Are you not gonna help me make this?

The hell we gonna make, son?

They want fresh inspiration.

I must tell you, the richest inspiration I have ever known was...

...during my period of quarantine in the Amazon.

Where I and a half dozen other...

...unfortunates had nothing to watch...

...but the bristling, leviathan tarantula...

...bunched up on the rotting, flimsy thatch...

...perhaps eight feet above our faces.

Spiders the size of your fist.

Their fangs glistening with venom and...

...their thousand-fold black eyes shining dully in the gloom.

In the darkness, you would hear the sudden anguished hiss...

...of a spider being struck by an adult leopard wasp...

...and in their mortal struggle, they would plummet to one's bed...

...biting and stinging and thrashing...

You know that you can smoke a hornet?

Okay, so just look at me when you answer the questions.

Don't worry about the camera, all right?

Okay, Denise.

Tell me a little about Rachel's birth.

Uh, Rachel's birth.

What an ordeal that was.

Greg, just... let me tell you one thing.

I was a really good mom to her, you know?

I really was.

Some single moms, their kids grow up too fast...

...but I always tried to protect Rachel from that.

I did my very best to protect her from...

...growing up too quickly, you know?

Right.

And now, I'm learning that there are...

protect your kid from, you know?

No matter what you do, you just...

So, did she have any favorite toys?

Before I answer that question, this is serious...

...so use your ears and listen to me.

I want you to promise me something as I care about you.

You gotta promise me you're not gonna have a baby...

...unless you're ready to love that baby's mother your whole life...

...and this is serious.

I'm telling you something that nobody's gonna tell you.

Don't pick a girl who's push-pull, you know?

You wanna pick somebody who's gonna love you...

...and not forget you, and not...

...leave you for someone with a big, fat ass.

So, no favorite toy.

Um...

Oh, you want to know what? Here's a favorite toy.

Scissors.

When Rachel's father first left...

...she gathered up all his books, ...and she rounded 'em up and she cut them right up.

Please, don't tell her I'm telling you, she would chop my head off.

But she just...

And I was, like, "Atta girl."

Snip, snip, snip. She was very mad.

Can we take a little break and have a little taste?

You boys are old enough to have a little taste, right?

Can we take a teeny break, just have a little taste?

Oh, yeah, that's a good boy.

Greg, will you join us?

Oh, I'm okay.

Oh, come on, don't be a party pooper!

Now we can get back to our interview.

So, basically, this whole setup is so that, you know...

...I can talk to you, you can talk to me...

...and I can see you, and you can see me.

Except it's not really me, it's a phone.

And I know that sounds kind of weird, but it's not.

So, anyway, just treat it like a get-well card, you can look into the lens.

And, uh...

Yeah, it's a video, so you know...

...don't think about it too hard, but just make it good.

Start whenever you're ready.

Hi, Rachel.

I guess I don't really know you that well...

...but I believe in you. You can do it.

That's real nice, yo.

It's so sweet that your boyfriend is doing this for you.

He must really love you.

Girl, that ain't her boyfriend.

Oh.

I know you're Jewish, but I just wanted you to know that God has a plan for you.

You seem like a really cool person.

I know we don't really talk.

But you've got a lot of friends. And, uh...

Out of all the people in this school, I don't hate you.

I believe in you and you can do it.

You can do it.

I believe in you.

You can do it.

Damn.


So again, if this was a touching, romantic story...

...we'd obviously fall in love and she'd say all the wise, beautiful things... in life's twilight or whatever.

And then she'd die in my arms.

But again, that's not what happened.

She just got quieter. And unhappier.

So, how are you?

For real.

For real?

Feeling like you might have been right.

Right when?

Back in October.

When you thought I was dying.

Well, I mean, I regret thinking that.

Don't regret it.


What is that noise?

It's Regretful Polar Bear.

Polar Bears have the purest expression of regret in the animal kingdom.

Just listen to how haunting and plaintive they sound.

Don't make me laugh. Please. It kinda hurts.

All right.

Kind of a monster silence in here.

Yeah.

It's okay to just be silent for a while.

Look, I know you're really bracing for this sweet girl...

...that you probably like a lot to die.

Just please bear with me. She doesn't. She gets better.

I promise.


Pretty much all I remember from that winter...

...is working on that stupid film... that made some kind of sense...

...and knowing the whole time that I couldn't... to make the thing we wanted to make...

...but it wasn't possible for us.

That was an entire winter of my life.

I mean, obviously, I remember visiting Rachel too.

Sometimes she talked, and sometimes, she didn't want to.

When she didn't want to, I talked.

Or we watched movies.

Sometimes, she laughed.

Sometimes, she didn't.

What I don't remember is doing schoolwork.

I did literally zero schoolwork during this time.

Not figuratively.

Literally zero schoolwork.

That's actually sort of hard to do.

So, what's going on at school?

Well, right now, the whole school looks like a castle...

...'cause everyone's getting ready for Medieval Prom.

I guess everyone's trying to figure out how to, like...

...twerk medievally?

Are you going?

No, of course not.

You should go.

No way!

Have you seen me in a tux?

It's like when they make a dog wear human clothes.

Have you seen that?

It just makes you really sad to look at.

Oh, and I don't have anyone to go with.

So there's that.

Unless...

...you know... you wanted to...

Greg, I'm not going to prom.

I mean, you totally could.

It could be like a, s-, awesome statement.

Hey, uh...

When are you guys finishing your movie?

You don't know we're working on a movie right now.

You don't have to pretend.

Earl told me you guys were making a movie for me.

God, yeah...

I guess he probably did.

I was just asking, because...

Goddamn it, Earl! Ugh.

It was just, it was supposed to be a surprise!

You know? It's taking forever because we really want to get it right, and...

I'm probably gonna stop treatment pretty soon.

What?

It just isn't doing me any good.

All it's doing is making me sicker.

Yeah, but it... I mean, if you stop, then...

Well, we'll just see what happens.

Well, we know what's gonna happen, right?

I know who you can take to prom.

Who?

This sexy pillow here.

Oh, my God, can you just...

Ooh, Greg, this pillow's name is Francesca.

Don't joke, I can't deal with that.

She's a filthy Italian woman.

Please, stop!

Don't yell at me.

So, that's it? Just, to hell with college, to hell with growing up?

Greg, don't.

Rachel, what the hell is wrong with you?

This is your life!

Yeah, it is my life.

It's me who has to lie in bed all day, with a shaved head...

...getting weaker and uglier, and more miserable, with no hope in sight.

I'm the one who has to suffer through this, not you, so don't yell at me.

I'm sorry, but I'm not gonna sit here and get comfortable watching you die.

Okay? I'm not. I'm not gonna do that.

So don't ask me to.

If you can't accept that I'm going to do what I want to do with my life...

...then you're a terrible friend.

I'm a terrible friend?

Okay.

You know, I'm not the one giving up.

I'm not ruining my friend's life by giving up on the whole world.

Oh, please, Greg, you should be overjoyed.

Now you can go back to your life of being invisible and detached...

...and self-hating.

Yeah.

And you can go back to your life of being dead.

Nice. Really nice.

This is gonna kill your mom.

Have you gotten comfortable with that?

That doesn't bother you anymore?

Thinking about your mom?

Get outta here, Greg.

You've done your time.

You don't have to hang around with the sick girl anymore.

How can you even say that to me?

Your mom forced you to hang out with me.

Earl forced you to show me your movies.

Madison forced you to make a movie about me.

So, what part of this did you actually want to do?


Just... Just do something nice for me for once and just get out.


Earl!

This is it! You've gone too far!

You've leaked the unleakable secret because you hold nothing sacred.

'Cause you're a dickhead!

The foundation of any good working partnership is trust...

...and I can no longer trust you in any way.

You'll leak anything to anyone.

It's like working with Julian Assange.

Assangde. Ass-andge. Damn it!

The hell you want?

Just waiting for Earl. Awright, awright.

Whassup, boy? You gonna come in?

So, Rachel told me that you told her about the, uh...

...about the film that we're making for her.

You're like Julian Assange, man.

It's like you always do this...

I don't know, 'cause you, like, wanna be a better friend than me or something?

I don't know if I can work with you again after you sell me out like a dick!

Oh, okay. Watch out, yo.

Hey, yo, shut your ass up, man!

Like you care so much about what other people think, boy, you go around here...

...kissin' everybody ass, Look, nobody gives a shit about you, Greg!

All right? Nobody give a shit!

Whoop his ass!

And then the one girl who do actually care about you...

...you wanna come over here and bitch and whine about some films, yo? Huh?

Because somebody actually cares about you?

Like, damn, I'm so tired of you treating this girl like she a burden.

You know, her life is over after this!

And you want to come over here bitchin' and whinin' about some irrelevant bullshit!

Like, yo, you so close to me knocking your shit loose right now, son!

Go for it!

Yeah, I don't care! You want me to hit you now?

Yeah, Earl, I want you to!

That's right! Jack that little dude up there!

See, Greg?

You lucky that was him and not me out there...

...'cause I'd have been whooping your ass up and down this street.

It'd have been a ass-whoopin' fest around here, you dig?

So what's the status on the 20-pager on Nixon?

Uh, I need another extension.

That might prove difficult...

...seeing how it's the...

...the end of the quarter and all.

Yeah, I've just been busy.

You know, I heard...

...about Rachel.

How you holding up?

You know...

...not great.

You know, my dad died when I was 15, Greg.

A couple years younger than you.

You know, the thing is that, when I was a kid...

...I really, I really can only remember thinking about him as this...

...you know, big, kind of like asshole guy.

At his wake, these buddies of his kept coming up to me...

...and telling me these stories about him.

And it was like they were talking about some complete other guy.

To give you an example.

He knew every single European pop song from the 1970s.

He'd memorize these songs, and he'd do that so he could go...

...and sing them to German girls in bars.

He had a go-to, his number one go-to song. It was a...

It was a Dutch song. It was called Ding-a-Dong.

My dad used to sing that to German girls in bars.

That's a fact.

So what does that mean?

Well, Greg, I think that it just means that...

...even after somebody dies, you can...

...you can still keep learning about them.

You know, their life.

It can keep unfolding itself to you just as long...

...just as long as you pay attention to it.

Are you seriously trying to turn this into some stupid sappy lesson?

You're a good kid, Greg.

No! Look, I'm going home.

See, I'm cutting class right in front of you. 'Kay?

I'm not a good kid. I'm not.

Okay.

Earl came by earlier to drop something off...

...but he turned down this superb Andouille rabbit sausage...

...which is quite unlike him.

Is everything all right?

Buddy?

We tried a lot of different ways of making a film for you...

...but they were all too goofy or irrelevant...

...or just not what we wanted.

So, now I'm gonna talk to you directly.

Um...

All right, I'm gonna be honest here. Okay?

Sometimes, white girls are particularly stupid.

I mean, everybody's stupid, but white girls, you know...

They think they better than everybody and self-centered and pretend they not.

But... you aren't like that, you know. Um...

It's just crazy how patient you've been.

You know, I know if it was me that had cancer, uh...

...I'd be upset and angry and trying to beat everybody's ass half the time.

So I'm just, I'm just amazed at how patient you've been.

You, you make me feel blessed.

By Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger.

I think, ultimately, what one has to understand watching this film...

...it's a very special piece of filmmaking.

Oh.

Are you eating lunch in here still?

Not if you are.

Well, I'm not eating lunch in here if you are.

Good, 'cause I like it in here.

So I guess I could just go.

Or you could go.

No, I like the air-conditioner.

And I like the comfortable chair.

Yeah, I like those too.

Sounds like your damn problem.

Which showed one film per week...

...twice a night, and three times on Saturday.

In a way, Tales of Hoffmann is...

...the culmination of Powell-Pressburger's work...

...with what they call the composed film.


Hey!

Can I talk to you about the movie?

Um...

Yeah, it's not done yet.

Greg, you guys have been working on it for like four months.

Yeah, well...

I don't know, we tried a bunch of stuff and it just...

...didn't really work.

It's not that good.

Greg!

Now is not the time for your "I'm Greg, I suck, "nothing I do is any good" thing.

I'm sure what you have is awesome and I think she would really benefit...

...if you just got it done and gave it to her.

Madison, she stopped treatment.

She gave up.

She quit.

Well, I guess that's a really good reason to just finish the fucking movie.

And give it to her.

But whatever.

Honey?

What?

Rachel's back in the hospital, honey.

Wait, is she starting treatment again?

It's not for treatment, honey.

Oh.

Mom, what?

Well, I thought we could go and...

To force me to hang out with her?

Greg, come on.

Don't worry, Mom, I'm sure you can find another girl with cancer after Rachel dies.

Which, by the way...

...she's decided to do.

She's just decided to die...

...so maybe I can decide not to visit her.

I promise you, you will regret that...

...if you don't visit her.

You'll regret it for the rest of your life.

Mom, that's probably true.

But honestly, I have a shitload of things to regret right now.

I regret not having a date for tomorrow's stupid prom.

I regret being too weird to make friends.

I definitely regret making all those shitty films with Earl.

And I assume you saw the email I got today, from Pitt?

Oh, no? You didn't see it while you're going though all my shit? Here.

Have a look.

I'm definitely gonna regret doing literally no school work this year!

Oh, my God, Greg.

I know. Admission rescinded, due to significant change in my academic record.

Oh, well, no college next year.

I guess I'll just be home, which sucks for you...

...because it's gonna be so hard for you to go through all my stuff.

Can you just do me a favor right now, Mom?

Just leave me alone. Okay?

Just let me sit here and regret stuff.

I'm just gonna think about all the things that I've ever done...

...and all the things I haven't done and just regret the living shit out of it. Okay?

All the deadlines have passed, Victor.

What's he gonna do next year?

He's just gonna waste the year?

He is grieving, honey.

You have to let him grieve.

But I can't just sit by and just let him ruin his life.

The universe does not operate according to a college deadline!

Can I ask you something?

Nope.

No. It's not what you think.

It's just that prom is tonight and...

Let me ask you something. What is this?

What is up with the arm touching?

Are you just being friendly, or is this some calculated maneuver...

...to get me to do whatever you want?

'Cause you have to understand what it does when a beautiful, sexy...

...otherwise thoughtful girl...

...touches the arm of a scrawny, pasty groundhog-faced kid.

It's an act of cruelty.

Are you done?

Yeah. Yeah, I'm done.

I'm done with you.

I'm done with this stupid film.

All right? I'm done.

Yo! But you ain't done with me!

I'm back for my revenge Stab you in the dick Pardon my French Really? You're gonna stab me in the dick? Go ahead.

Stab me in the dick.

Just no rapping. Okay? All right?

I'll break your eyeball with a fist I got clenched Shove your body under another bench Stop rapping!

Knock your teeth out with the fist I got clenched I can't do this if you're gonna rap the whole time.

Aw!

Break it up!

Earl!

Break it up! Break it up!

I thought you were eating lunch in Mr. McCarthy's office.

Man, I was, but he all sad talking about German music and shit.

That's boring as hell, man.

I'm surprised and disappointed to see you two fighting.

And, Phillip, I'm surprised and disappointed to see you back on school grounds...

...after being expelled!

All right, man.

Please leave the premises.

Back to class.

Let's go!

Maxwell, Ryan, Soledad, stop gawking and start walking!

Greg!

Yo, babe! You see me pummel this bitch?

Come on and keep walking

'fore I can whoop that ass again, man.

Madison, what?

Come to prom with me.

I know the whole movie situation was really difficult for you...

...and I kind of feel like it was my fault.

So I just kind of wanted to make it up to you a little bit.

Is this a pity date?

No.

No, it's not a pity date.

Greg, just come to prom with me.

I think we'd have a good time.

Told you you would get a date.

Yep.

So you're welcome. For the tux and everything.

Thanks, Mom.

I'm very upset about this college thing.

But your father and I can wait till you're ready to talk about it.

I appreciate that.

Don't forget your corsage.

All right.

My handsome boy...

...going to prom.

Take lots of pictures, okay?

302 Halket Street.

What's that?

I said 302 Halket Street.

Huh?

302 Halket Street.

Halket? Okay. Okay.

You got it, baby.

So you love this girl?

Uh, no. I wouldn't go that far.

What?

No. I... No.

Yeah, so you guys are gonna be getting busy on my brand new Tuscan leather?

No. I think... Huh?

No, we're not. I don't think so.

Nah, I'm just playing with you.

But I do hope you get some.

It's really gonna depend on what she wants to do.

If you really love her, though, you definitely got a shot.

Because she'll know.

She is fine though?

Huh?


Hey.

I know, I look amazing.

Can I put some flowers on you?

Like that.

Okay.

Before we watch this...

...I'm sorry it took so long to make.

But the reason is...

...just couldn't figure out how to get it to not suck.

But... we never really did figure it out.

It still sucks.

It's not exactly what I wanted to say to you.

But...

...whatever.

Let's just watch this first, okay?


Hey, should I get a nurse?

Denise! Denise!


That was the last time I saw Rachel.

She went into a coma shortly after that, and died about 10 hours later.

I know I told you she doesn't die.

And I'm sorry.

Deep down...

...somehow, I didn't think she would.

But she did.


Dear Greg, I heard what happened with your class work.

And with Pitt State.

So, I wrote them a letter, trying to convince them to let you back in.

There's a copy in here, if you want to read it.

Hopefully, it works, because that would mean...

...I have powers from beyond the grave.

But you should probably send them something too.

Goodbye, Greg. You're a good friend.

Although if you don't go to college, you're also an idiot.

But you already knew that.

Love, Rachel.

I'd also like for you to take some of my pillows.

They'll want a good home where they'll be loved.

Not in the way you're thinking, that's disgusting.


Dear Pittsburgh State Admissions:

I'm writing on behalf of someone who gave me half a year of his life...

...at the time when I was at my most difficult to be around.

He has a very low opinion of himself, which is why I think it's necessary...

...that you hear from someone who sees him as he actually is:

A limitlessly kind, sweet, giving, and genuine person.

No matter how much he would deny it.

The drop in his academic performance this year...

...is the consequence of all the time

...and the time he spent making things for me...

...and how hard that was for him.

You can ask him about it...

...but his sort of over-the-top humility will probably get in the way.

No one has done more to make me smile than he has.

And no one ever could.

Rachel's ashes were scattered in a park behind her house.

Apparently, she ran away from home once and tried to live there.

It was this story her aunt told at the funeral.

She was trying to become a squirrel.

She thought she could turn into one just by being in the forest...

...and wanting it really bad.

I guess maybe that's what Mr. McCarthy meant...

...about someone's life continuing to unfold.

It was weird to be learning something new about Rachel after she died.

But somehow, it was reassuring as well.