Me and You and Everyone We Know

2005

Comedy / Drama

0
IMDb Rating 7.3 10 34289

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN

Director

Cast

John Hawkes as Richard Swersey
Najarra Townsend as Rebecca
Ellen Geer as Ellen

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by chuzzlewit-1 9 / 10

Back and forth, forever

Miranda July's "Me and You and Everyone We Know" might be the most miraculous first fiction feature by an American in 3 or 4 years; it's rivaled only by Andrew Bujalski's "Funny Ha Ha." Christine (July) stalks the recently separated Richard (John Hawkes), who would try anything to impress his kids, and gets third degree burns for his trouble. His elder son, Peter (Miles Thompson) longs for connections that go beyond instant gratification, while the younger Robby (Brandon Ratcliff) gets all the funniest lines, mostly copied and pasted from cybersex chats.

"Me and You" is about the act of pretending and about performance as life, but first of all it's about extremely likable characters played by likable actors, foremost among them July herself, whose Carole Lombard-meets-Laurie Anderson deep ditz may be a complex stack of masks upon masks, but is more likely just the way she is.

The movie is notable for what isn't in it - both malice and pain are almost absent. Removing malice - July's world is one in which a kid can safely walk alone through some seedy parts of Los Angeles - is unfashionable, brave and, given the gentle tone of the piece, necessary. But the absence of pain isn't intentional: July would like us to feel the loneliness of the characters. But their isolation is more a trait of their personalities than a source of suffering. In this respect, the movie is perhaps too glossy for its own good. There's one excellent exception, revolving around a granddaughter's photo by an elderly woman's bedside, which becomes a substitute for a shared life that dissolved too soon.

The scene that everyone picks out is the walk to Tyrone Street. Richard and Christine decide the walk to the intersection will stand in for the relationship they're not having: first the unrelieved joy of being together, then the getting bored with each other, then the fighting and the split. Only they keep chatting flirtily, about whether the walk represents a year and a half or twenty, until they get to the corner, and then we wonder how they can possibly go their separate ways. Although this is as great as anything in the first 75 minutes of "Before Sunset," its emphasis is much more on romantic comedy than the rest of the movie. There are more typical scenes that approach this quality. A goldfish on the roof of a car. A child running his fingers through a woman's hair. A picture of a bird in a tree, in a tree. And the ending, where it seems human actions are motivating the sunrise.

The scene I consider the finest is a quiet one: Sylvie (Carlie Westerman), a tween spending her childhood preparing for life as a homemaker, gets a gift from Peter: a plush bird. ("It's for your daughter.") It would be unusual merely for depicting a platonic friendship between kids of different genders and different ages. But it's remarkable for crystallizing what it seems every filmmaker is trying to say these days: that there's something to be gained from thinking like a child. Through July's lens, it doesn't seem like a regression: no redundant literalization of fantasy is necessary. The achievement of "Me and You and Everyone We Know" is to show how the mundane moments of our lives can be mundanely transformed by imagination.

Reviewed by levingem 10 / 10

a simple, touching film

I just saw this film in Cannes, and Miranda July just won the Camera D'Or for best first feature. I think the jurors were right on for giving this film an award. It's a simple film that creates identifiable and likable characters that are all loosely connected. I suppose there is one central story line, but the film's strength lies in the individual scenes and interactions between these characters. July successfully depicts the innocence of childhood, the sexual curiosity of teenagers, and the complex emotions of adulthood through personal and original stories and situations. I don't want to give a lot away but simply recommend anyone reading this to at least give it a shot. You'll either love it or hate it, but I think the majority of you will love it.

Reviewed by hedovegas 10 / 10

Gorgeous and Delightful

Miranda July created a perfect picture. I knew nothing before we went in, and read only afterward that she was a performance artist and thought "a ha", that explains how she achieved such True Art on Film. The picture seems so clever and adorably funny on the surface, but its lessons and beauty run to our core emotions and instincts. My husband and I walked all the way home marveling at how many gorgeous layers there are to peel away and enjoy, flavor by flavor. My favorites:

The SYMMETRY: Of the storyline, the first (goldfish) and last (Ellen) eulogies. From the desperate danger of the fire on John Hawke's hand, to the comfort of the fire of the rising sun in his youngest son's eyes. The round circle of peepers tended by their mother. The perfect dialog, "Like I'm a man in a book and you're just meeting the man in the book".

The REFLECTIONS: the full moon in John Hawke's full moon eyes, the reflected circle spotlighting him and then how he helped her repair the mirror, how he hated the reflected words of self esteem on his ex-wife's night shirt because only the wearer can read them in a mirror. The art curator fell in love with a reflection of herself, her own words simply pasted back to her, framed by a child's most basic understanding of sex (poop) and love (back and forth, forever). The F*** spelled backwards on her windshield under the reflections of passing trees. The distorted reflections of the fish in the water bag (John Hawke is riding along a dangerous road himself) as Miranda said "I don't know you but I love you" which reflect her developing feelings towards the special shoe salesman, after the empathy and insight he had shown into her undeserved (foot) pain. The passengers looking, or not looking, in their rearview mirrors at the fish on the cars.

The TOUCHES: How touch changes and heals us! The old man thought a shoe salesman touching his foot "was part of the service", but no "We never touch the foot." Miranda touches her three magic pink dots on her dashboard for strength, but she touches John Hawkes' squishy banana (decal) on his dash far too soon. The art curator and her assistant foolishly thinking a hamburger wrapper was sculpture because they did not dare touch it! The child's kind stroking of the art curator's hair, and the gentle knowing kiss of the woman to the child. Andrew, the other shoe salesman/neighbor says to them how wrong it is for him to touch the underage girls as he longs to, and the girls progress from applying bad makeup to kissing each other instead. And, of course, the healing touch of Miranda's pale perfect arm on the burnt hand of John Hawkes finally brings them both the sweetest peace. And their relaxation in embrace, brings peace to the viewer as well.

The HOPE: The brushes with immorality that always veer back to the side of the pure. The other shoe salesman/neighbor, who could think and write about hooking up with the underage girls, but when faced with their knock on the door, he was rightfully horrified.The kindness of the older boy Peter, who was able to sense that the girls' friendship depended on him telling them they were both skilled the same (when they weren't). And his responding to the mother-peep's public denials about her Hope chest by bringing her a private gift for it, and partaking in her imaginings of loving a daughter. The boy who could have been hurt walking home but wasn't. The possible internet molestation that instead became a tender moment on a park bench. That the curator woman with Cattitude (oh what that mug said about critics and their view of art!) had no family, and dog, and dog family, to sing carols with in summertime, but she walked away from that bench happy with the strange but beautiful connection she had made... So happy that she could finally appreciate the strange but beautiful macaroni.

And the RESPECT the film showed: for the young who are also sexual beings, in their way, for the single parent, for race, for the elderly, who still grow as much every day as the young: Yes, old Ellen was right, Miranda should collaborate, and it is her shared work with the old man that made it in the exhibition...... Miranda wanted to make it alone, but, like we all know, the Mayan ruins (or apartment building ruins, or family ruins) are always more beautiful with a partner. Only after Miranda the solo artist was ready to truly accept and enjoy working with someone else, and only after John's protective bandages were removed, did he call to begin their true love. Yes, the old man was right, even if the little girl saw her new goldfish die "At least we're all in this together."

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