I just watched "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" and quite liked it. But I could not understand the meaning of last video, where all through the movie I was damn excited to see what will Greg come up with in the last video.

But when they lay on hospital bed watching it, first Greg , Earl, Rachel etc comes on screen, then a pillow opens up, three more pillows form, that red figures all over the screen, and Rachel starts crying and finally goes into coma. I am not sure what the Director wanted to convey by that scene.

Was it just a random video or it had any significance in the movie?

4 Answers 4


Within the universe of the movies and related to all the characters shown, it was not just a random video, but an intentionally made attempt at artistic stream-of-consciousness and an exposure of emotion.

Greg was supposed to be making a tribute film, something "expected"; like a graduation kind of film that could be played for everyone at school to remember Rachel and how she fit into all their lives and would ultimately be a means of shared catharsis and remembrance for her life cut short.

Madison would periodically cajole and encourage Greg throughout the second half of the movie about making this film for Rachel, as Greg was kind of a completely narcissistic self-righteous self-hating "anarchist auteur". He and Earl would make these absurdist, pun-riddled remixes of well-known films and yet Greg was entirely contrived and controlling from start to finish.

Maybe because of his teenaged-boy general idiocy, indifference, and priveleged absent-minded self-obsessing annoyance with the world, Rachel liked spending time with him and enjoyed watching the films he made with Earl because it was an absurd and outlandish take on the real world; the real world that was currently abandoning her to wallow in doom and sadness as she's being all-but-invisibly demolished by cancer.

One of the many, many montages in the movie shows Greg looking back on all his time with Rachel and reimagining all the moments where he could have -- and maybe should have -- "made a move", to bring their friendship to the next romantic "level", but he didn't, she didn't, and he didn't really know if it was ever even on the table. Greg had, almost unbelievably, absolutely no idea what was going on, and in the midst of all of that, he had this sea of emotional confusion that he never really understood and never even attempted to express. Perhaps that, too, is something that Rachel enjoyed about spending time with him, because she could see him, see into him, and watch him "struggling" to experience life and grow and be good. If the movie depicts anything concrete about Greg, it's that he has insight and artistic vision -- a subjective quality of external worth, to say the least, but he was definitely portrayed as having it in spades.

Rachel sees Greg's insight into the beauty and art of the world around him, but also sees how unaware and downright dumb he is about most things. She liked his work because she found it funny and silly and stupid but also kind of nonchalantly poignant.

As others mentioned, she clearly enjoyed collecting all the fluffy and kooky and weird pillows, not only because they are soft and cuddly and comfortable, but fun and silly. When life is destructively complex and depressing and overly stressful and terrifying, it can be wildly healthy and helpful to surround yourself with reminders of the silly absurdities of life and especially of people. As she's being drowned in such seriousness, Greg and Earl's films bring her joy and fun and escapist absurdity.

For the final film, to top off everything with (perhaps cloying) poignancy, Greg actually almost almost finally gets it, and instead of making some kind of slideshow/documentary "History of Rachel" that she clearly would have felt nothing about, he finally made a stream-of-consciousness effort to express himself emotionally. He crafted stop-motion scenes of shape and color, widely used throughout cinema as semantic corollaries to emotions, and expressed this kind of universal, explosive transcendence. It was all very soft and fluffy and cute but also very trippy and DMT inspired and somewhat reminiscent of Gaspar Noé and Michel Gondry, attempting to idolize and immortalize the transcendence of the single moment that is death, or "passing on".

So it's certainly not unrelated, but it is definitely emotionally driven and quite "random", because it wasn't really meant to be a narrative, but an experience.

Which is all very much meant as a flamboyantly factual summary of the intentions of that final film, and not at all an aesthetic endorsement of the self-righteous over-privileged under-intellectualized cloying manipulatively absurdly narcissistic idiocy that is the general message of anything and everything that goes on throughout the film where the "misunderstood" cavier-eating lazy idiot literally uses people, including a this young lady's tragic death, to justify his life, his "work", and the assumed necessity that he must be accepted into film school, though he clearly has absolutely no intellect, no social skills, no motivations, no compassion, and no common-sense in the least.

Abysmal character, but, unrelated to the narrative terribleness of the self-obsessed lead, that was the point of the final movie Greg made for Rachel.

  • +1 "When life is destructively complex and depressing and overly stressful and terrifying, it can be wildly healthy and helpful to surround yourself with reminders of the silly absurdities of life and especially of people."
    – Algo
    Jan 30, 2017 at 6:33

Was it just a random video or it had any significance in the movie?

It is not a random video, rather a thoughtful one. From the whole movie, it can be understood that Rachael's mom, Greg and Earl are the very closest and caring persons in Rachael's short life. And the pillows, it's something Rachel likes to collect, like a hobby, so, we can see her room is stuffed with lots and different sorts of pillows.

In the last video (Greg's movie for Rachel), unlike his other movies, it's Greg's intention to make Rachel happy by featuring Rachel's real friends whom she loves to hang out with, family and pillows.


I think the end when the video has a red kite symbol coating through a pool. Was meant to represent the chemo and then it dwindling away from her body allowing the leukemia to take over. Hence the red lines then finally being drug off the screen symbolizes the inevitable.


I watched this movie yesterday and it was the first time I've seen it. There were parts that I didn't understand either, but in the end was when it all made sense. And that is what I think the director intended to do. I think that he (forgive me if it's a she) wanted for us to be a little confused and then understand everything towards the end, because it creates a sense of overwhelming realization and emotion for the viewers. As for the scene when Rachel watches the video, your thoughts are correct, this scene is one of the most important. There are many things to discover, still from the film Greg had made for Rachel. One of the most significant things about this scene is the fact that we don't know for sure that Rachel saw the entire film, which guessing by the chaos developed shortly after starting to watch the film, she didn't. The fact that she probably never got to the end just goes to show us that time is precious. After this scene, a thought crept into my mind. If only Greg had given the film to Rachel sooner, she could have seen it to the very end and most likely even reacted to it verbally. The people and objects displayed in the film are also of great importance. The pillows, for example were something Rachel "collected", which is probably why Greg decided to feature them in his film. Though it may have seemed like Greg and Earl didn't really want to make the film for Rachel, it is, without a doubt in my mind, significant. I hope this helped, if you have any other questions I would be glad to attempt and answer them.

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