This is one of my favorite movies of the year: a coming of age story that turns the familiar into something fresh, funny and poignant. It makes you laugh, then breaks your heart. Thomas Mann plays Greg, a shy teen who is trying to survive high school. One day, his mom “forces” him to visit Rachel (Olivia Cooke, from “Bates Motel”), a classmate he barely knows, who’s been diagnosed with leukemia. No, this isn’t “The Fault in Our Stars”. They don’t fall in love or have sex in a hospital bed. But she does enjoy his humor and good company, in spite of the pain she’s enduring. The movie is packed with characters, all wonderfully acted. RJ Cyler kills as Earl, Greg’s best pal. Jon Berthal is terrific as the “cool” teacher. Olivia Cooke will break your heart as the “dying girl” who refuses to leave her room. It’s here that Greg bonds with her and introduces her to his short parody films, featuring titles like “Eyes Wide Butt”, A “Sockwork Orange” and “Senior Citizen Kane”. Film buffs, prepare to be dazzled. Major props to Jesse Andrews, for adapting his own novel for the screen with an incredible eye for detail. His movie is funny, endearing, poignant, and most of all true. In short: it respects its audience. Do not miss it.