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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 40.38%
Average: 3.85%
Pretty Bad: 5.77%
Total Crap: 1.92%

6 reviews, 16 user ratings

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Me and You and Everyone We Know
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by EricDSnider

"Sweet and full of wonderment, not to mention teen-on-teen action."
4 stars

The dialogue in "Me and You and Everyone We Know" has a wonderful, magical quality to it. People often talk to each other, even to strangers, in a way that falls somewhere between whimsical and philosophical, yet it never comes off as pretentious. Someone can say something as self-consciously clever as (upon removing a bandage), "My hand needs air. It needs to breathe. Let's take my hand for a walk," but in context, it seems like a perfectly ordinary thing to say.

Miranda July's debut -- she wrote and directed it and takes the lead role -- is an impressive one, notable for its aura of introspection and humanity. While some of the content is reminiscent of Todd Solondz ("Welcome to the Dollhouse," "Happiness"), July holds her characters in higher regard than Solondz does, looking at them not as curious pawns in her agenda-laden endgame, but as real people, full of innocence and wonder.

Real people who are screwed up, that is. The film is set in the anonymous, unattractive neighborhoods of Los Angeles, focusing on several strangers who yearn to connect with someone. Christine (July) is an artist working in the mediums of photography and video, but for an income she runs a service driving elderly people around town. One of her regular passengers, a 70-year-old man, has recently fallen in love with a fellow senior at his retirement home. He tells Christine he wishes he'd met Ellen 50 years ago, then decides maybe it's better this way. Maybe he needed those 50 years of mistakes and wrong turns to prepare him for a woman like Ellen.

We meet Richard (John Hawkes), a shoe salesman and a lost soul, separated from his wife and living in a one-bedroom apartment. When his two sons are with him, they get the bedroom and he sleeps on the hide-a-bed. He meets Christine in the department store where he works, but both parties are so wounded and cautious, not just in love but in everyday life, that the developing of a romance seems unlikely.

His sons are the teenage Peter (Miles Thompson) and the 6-year-old Robby (Brandon Ratcliff), who spend their idle hours on the Internet, sometimes flirting with strangers in chat rooms. Robby's too young to understand sex, of course, and Peter seems apathetic toward it. His encounter with two overly sexual teenage girls in the neighborhood seems to bore him as much as anything.

You should also know about a precocious young girl named Sylvie (Carlie Westerman) who, at 6 or 7, is already preparing her own hope chest ("or 'trousseau' in French," she says), complete with linens, teapots and towel sets. She shows this to Peter, but when he sees her on the playground with friends and mentions it, she pretends not to know what he's talking about.

There is a basic story line in all this, primarily dealing with Christine and Richard, but July is more interested in the characters as a group. How does a community function? How can we live among so many humans yet still be alone? No scene is extraneous, and everything contributes to the whole. You laugh now and then during the film, but mostly you smile -- at the simple connections people make, at July's seemingly guileless screenplay, at the general tone of wonderment and love for mankind.

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originally posted: 06/24/05 15:39:05
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Sundance Film Festival. For more in the 2005 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Philadelphia Film Festival. For more in the 2005 Philadelphia Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Independent Film Festival of Boston. For more in the 2005 Independent Film Festival of Boston series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 CineVegas Film Festival For more in the 2005 CineVegas Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Atlanta Film Festival For more in the 2005 Atlanta Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Brisbane Film Festival. For more in the 2005 Brisbane Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

1/27/09 Drew A great mvoie 5 stars
8/17/06 Mary Beth enjoyable but forgettable 4 stars
11/21/05 Indrid Cold A series of bizarre interpersonal encounters = a brilliant movie? ummmm, afraid not 3 stars
11/04/05 Phil M. Aficionado It tries too hard and comes out awkward, edgy, quirky; fractured look at life 2 stars
10/12/05 Elizabeth S Extremely disappointing. 2 stars
9/03/05 jcjs awesome, clever, real, touching, outstanding, phenominal, European maturity, wow 5 stars
7/25/05 Allen Price I found this to be a very awkward movie about 2 very awkward people. While we all feel awk 2 stars
7/18/05 ModelCitizen a bizarre, at times hilarious, and always a very human film 4 stars
7/15/05 gerald berke Ms. July is a trustworthy artist. 5 stars
7/06/05 nina i have to seeeee this 5 stars
6/21/05 iyipo total crap 1 stars
6/19/05 Jhan Stevens An intriguing film--you never know what will happen next with the cast of quirky characters 5 stars
3/23/05 dorinda Best movie ever! 5 stars
2/07/05 Todahe Very unique and well done 4 stars
1/28/05 Sherri Comical yet extremely moving 5 stars
1/27/05 Joanie Pretentious and vapid 3 stars
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  17-Jun-2005 (R)
  DVD: 11-Oct-2005



Directed by
  Miranda July

Written by
  Miranda July

  John Hawkes
  Ellen Geer
  Brad Henke
  Jordan Potter
  Brandon Ratcliff
  Miranda July

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