Features
Reviews
Must Hear Music
Reviews Archives
Archives
Bargain Basement
Downloads
Music DVD
Upstart
Pipsqueaks
 
 
 
Features
Reviews
Archives
Send Us Mail
Contact Us
 
 

ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW (R) (2005)

IFC Films

Official Site

Director: Miranda July

Producer: Gina Kwon

Written by: Miranda July

Cast: Miranda July, John Hawkes, Miles Thompson, Brandon Ratcliff, Carlie Westerman, Natasha Slayton

Rating:


In its opening moments, Me And You And Everyone We Know unwittingly predicts what happens in the rest of the movie. Over a still photograph of a beach where two people stand and regard a sunset, Miranda July’s voice booms out, projecting vows of love and endearment onto the couple; the rest of the movie follows suit, as July attempts to pump sincerity and conviction into similarly unconvincing, stiff characters and situations, except these ones move and breathe and pretend to be real members of the human race. Alternately annoying and intriguing, the film is ultimately more of a still photo.

To her credit, July has enough of a technical team behind her to make sure that the movie is technically up to snuff: good looking, smoothly edited, and all the rest. In keeping with 2005’s cinematic trend of Children Far Less Annoying Than You’d Expect (exemplified recently in Nobody Knows, Millions, and Dakota Fanning’s surprisingly appropriate—previously freaky—precociousness), it also has some fine child actors to go along with the equally OK adult cast. But all characters, save one, suffer from the often arbitrary quirks imposed by their creator.

That one exception is a shoe salesman (Hawkes) just coming out of a bad divorce; July is introduced first, and then, with no explanation, we cut to his house, as his wife leaves. It’s clear that the two are lost souls meant to be together—in some ways, Me And You is as predictable as any Hollywood romance—and it’s equally clear that the real story will be the bumps in their journey. This being an indie romance, the complications arise from their mutual awkwardnesses and mundane circumstance, rather than the kind of over-the-top complications that arise when someone tries to convince us that gorgeous movie stars might not tear each other’s clothes off right this second. Hawkes exemplifies, more or less, the only incursion of the real world in this movie: His weirdly-mustachioed, frustrated but trying father is consistently moving.

But then there’s the rest of the cast. Like the son who gets two successive blowjobs from neighborhood girls who want to find out who’s better at fellatio. They specify what they need before they get started (a wet and dry washcloth, candy to clear their mouths, etc.), and he rushes into another room and prepares an elaborate tray for them, a freakishly well-organized assembly. The movie is full of such OCD displays—the girl next door has a collection of domestic appliances, all of which she’s already arranged in a mental layout of her future house—and you know what that’s about. July is, both in real life and in the movie, a performance artist, so she’s constructed a movie full of people just like her, people whose real talents are small and weird, who transform daily tasks or mundane dreams into elaborate, carefully executed rituals. It’s all art!

Unsurprisingly, Me And You feels frequently sealed off from the real world, though it boasts a potentially fascinating subtext about the necessary drudgery of day jobs. July frequently interrupts her modest projects to drive the elderly around, and Hawkes works as a shoe salesman at the mall. Both are good at their jobs (unlike, say, Thora Birch in Ghost World, another defiant outsider-in-training), which is refreshing for a movie that values quirky misfits. They don’t dig the work, but at least they do it competently. But July seems more interested in their uninteresting quirks, and the movie plays like the answer to a bizarre series of hypotheticals (What if the two teenage girls on the corner suddenly gave you a blowjob? What if the little girl next door dreams of buying a variety of kitchen appliances? What if someone set their hand on fire to commemorate, ceremonially, a divorce?).

What’s more surprising is how mundane July’s life lessons turn out to be. For a would-be adventurous film, it’s frequently content to traffic in platitudes, mostly courtesy of July’s only visible passenger, an old man who regularly says things like, “No one’s gonna live life for you,” and ruefully observes that, “Maybe I needed 70 years” to be ready for his new, senior citizen girlfriend. These are sentiments worthy of Lifetime, not a veritable Tourette’s assembly of tics and neuroses. July’s movie is carefully designed, with echoes of other narrative strands in almost every scene (she even finds time to work in a museum with an exhibition on “Shock And Awe,” a covert anti-war statement). But Me And You has no larger agenda; in the end, it’s just one woman’s mostly unconvincing, and not especially compelling, vision of the world.

—Vadim Rizov

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

Itís worth a full-price ticket.

Itís worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...


Mike Doughty



Pink Floyd

-------


South By Southwest 2014
David DeVoe

South By Southwest 2013
David DeVoe

Red Hook Music Festival
George Dow

SXSW 2012
David DeVoe

Our Favorite Records 2011
Hybrid Staff

AWOLNation
Rachel Fredrickson

Kanrocksas
Rachel Fredrickson

Warped Tour 2011
Rachel Fredrickson

Eddie Spaghetti
Melissa Skrbic-Huss

Murder By Death
Mike DeLeo


Mike Doughty
Boulder, CO

Epilogues
Denver, CO

Imagine Dragons
Denver, CO

Sebadoh
Cambridge, MA

Young Magic
Denver, CO

Warped Tour 2012
Denver, CO

Thrice
Denver, CO

Mike Doughty
Denver, CO

MuteMath
Kansas City, MO

Other Lives
Lawrence, KS

Los Campesinos
Boston, MA

The Civil Wars
Lawrence, KS

Ha Ha Tonka
Lawrence, KS

Thrice
Lawrence, KS


 
hybridmagazine.com is updated daily except when it isn't.
New film reviews are posted every week like faulty clockwork.
Wanna write for hybrid? Send us an e-mail.
© 1996-2009 [noun] digital media. All rights reserved worldwide. All content on hybridmagazine.com and levelheadedmusic.com is the intellectual property of Hybrid Magazine and its respective creators. No part of hybridmagazine.com or levelheadedmusic.com may be reproduced in any format without expressed written permission. For complete masthead and physical mailing address, Click Here.