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Me and You and Everyone We Know

5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I want you to die knowing you were loved Feb. 22 2007
Sometimes the most we can hope for is someone to love, cherish, and to know that we are loved in return.

Performance artist/writer/director/actress Miranda July made an instant name for herself with "Me And You And Everyone We Know." This writing/directorial debut is full of characters who seem startlingly realistic, but in a way that makes the world seem just a little kinder than it was before.

Christine (July) is a shy performance artist who works as an senior-cab driver. Richard (John Hawkes) is a lonely shoe salesman who has just been dumped by his wife, and is bewildered by his loneliness. His younger son is having a cyberaffair with a fortysomething woman, and his elder son is getting a bit too close with the local girls.

A chance encounter in a store, and on the street, brings Richard and Christine together for a few minutes, and convinces Christine that they may have a future together. The two dance awkwardly around each other -- Christine wants to be with Richard, but Richard's divorce wounds are still too fresh. Will these awkward soulmates connect at last?

Early in the movie, Richard announces that, "I want to be swept off my feet, you know? I am prepared for amazing things to happen. I can handle it!" Well, he gets an amazing thing: Christine. "Me and You..." doesn't have Hollywood-pretty actors having Big Dramatic Moments. Instead, the beauty of this quirky love story is that it could happen to any of us -- a chance encounter bringing us together with a true soulmate.

The simple plot moves with surprising speed, as the characters learn to pursue their happiness. July fills it with delicate, moving scenes, such as a scene where Christine and her friend Michael try to save a goldfish on a moving car.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, original film Oct. 22 2005
By A Customer
Great characters, great dialogue, moments of pure magic. This is a must see movie.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars pretentious performance art Oct. 20 2009
By Brian Maitland TOP 500 REVIEWER
Right from the start this flick lost me. I listened to the lead actress narrate some New Agey type stuff while gazing at some pic on the wall of two people on a beach. Then it goes to an incredibly sketchy-looking scrawny dude in the midst of his soon-to-be-ex-wife packing up and leaving...he walks outside, knocks on his kids' window and proceeds to light his hand on fire.

I thus started hitting the fast forward button to see if this thing goes anywhere. It doesn't seem to.

Don't believe the awards or hype, this is sheer painful slow death to sit through and, trust me, I'm saving you the pain. The pace is far too glacial. Sorry, but at my age I no longer have the patience to sit through art films hoping something will happen or looking for the meaning in a stone on a sidewalk.

I get it. The director is young. She wants to say something profound and create something magical. Sorry, but sometimes you need a bit more experience in life to stop navel gazing and learn that narrative has to have pace. People mainly go to the movies to escape and also see people onscreen they either can relate to or can sit and gawk at for their looks. If this works for you, fine, but you still need to reach beyond the audience who will sit through stuff like this to actually make yourself heard beyond your circle of enablers.

It's an art fillum, folks, and it isn't Truffaut. If you dig this sort of thing, you might like it. Those days are long over for me ever since I was stuck in a grubby downtown theater with a bunch of First Nations folks watching Eraserhead and wishing someone would put me out of this pain. I have better things to do with an hour and a half of my time as I hit Hawaii 5-0 years than watch performance art onscreen. At least if this performance art was on the street my boos and heckling could be heard and comedy might ensue.
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Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  141 reviews
23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are you willing to play along? Oct. 23 2006
By Keith A. Markus - Published on Amazon.com
This film is not for everyone and I appreciate the insights in some of the negative reviews. However, it would be unfortunate if such reviews put off viewers to who might otherwise connect with the film. I will try to offer a more successful reading.

The movie's most self-referential scene involves the playful conversation between the two lead characters as they walk to their respective cars. In offering their respective interpretations of the walk, they each take chances by playing a game at the risk that the other will not play along. It is precisely this vulnerability of the characters that makes the characters so endearing and the main narrative so romantic. By taking the risks and playing along with the conversation, they each reveal to the other a common openness to a shared way of relating to the world. By extension, through the entire film Miranda July takes risks, asking the viewer "this is game that I am playing, are you willing to play along?"

A less central but significant scene recognizes that not everyone is willing to play along. An awkward and unsuccessful conversation in the intimate setting of a female character's bathroom between two recently separated characters presents them as each good and decent individuals who simply cannot connect with one another successfully. I take this sympathetic representation of the separated wife as one of the most admirable dimensions of the film. It celebrates the playful artistic stance of the two main characters, the quality that brings them together and allows them to connect, while respecting the alternative ways that other characters relate to the world around them.

The scene in which "you" and "me" move toward and away from one another captures the theme that runs through the interactions of various characters in the movie. Yes, the characters experience various forms of rejection or unsuccessful attempts to connect with others. However, nothing tragic happens to anyone who breathes though lungs rather than gills. For instance, two teenagers running distractedly down the middle of a street could easily have met unhappily with another character driving her car in a funk after partially obstructing her windshield. They did not. At bottom, Miranda July presents an optimistic world in which connecting is tough and brings painful disappointments but perseverance is ultimately rewarded. Living and loving are hard but the world is not ultimately hostile to either.

Two scenes involving a bird in a tree bracket the film, symbolizing an openness to be moved by aesthetic pleasures that extend beyond practical concerns. After receiving inadequate or incorrect explanations of a clanging sound heard early in the morning, the youngest character sets out under the bird image to discover the truth by direct investigation. He meets a kindly buss passenger who gives him the coin he had been clanging against the bus signpost. So, the character gets to the factual, literal truth of the matter. Then as the character clangs the post, the sun rises, echoing an earlier explanation given by his mother but on a more magical level. Clanging the coin signals the sun to rise. With that leap the character steps beyond the mundane into the playful stance of the artist: The childlike willingness to find more in the world than what is actually there is the wellspring of artistic creativity. "This is the game that I am playing, are you willing to play along?"
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars i've always loved her work, now i love it even more Sept. 27 2005
By nikki - Published on Amazon.com
This movie is fantastic, period. Each scene is so colourful and humourous and touching. What makes this movie so good to me are all the little, seconds-long moments of weirdness/sadness/cuteness which really (cheesy as it sounds) Touch Your Heart. Keep an eye out for the goldfish scene, the talking picture-frame scene, and the mug scene for an idea of what i'm talking about. And the little boy who plays the part of the younger son is phenomenal. i am usually annoyed by child actors but this little boy is so genuine and lovable. you would never, ever know that the things coming out of his mouth are pre-scripted lines. i ended up liking and caring about every single character and, more than that, feeling really moved by the visuals and the aforesaid asides that come and go so quickly.

i appreciate this movie the same way i might appreciate a beautiful photograph- with respect and wonder.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Me Likes It, You Hate It, And Everyone We Know May Have A Different Opinion Nov. 7 2006
By K. Harris - Published on Amazon.com
Self-consciously "arty" at every turn, it's easy to see why many people love "Me and You and Everyone We Know"--but it's just as easy for me to see why people also loathe this film. Performance artist Miranda July has fashioned a piece about urban disconnect and lost souls and has populated it with quirky characters and outlandish situations. And while many compare the tone of the film to a Todd Solondz picture, to me it doesn't have quite the same brash in-your-face entertainment style. July's piece is quieter and more contemplative.

"Quirky" has become the new curse on the indie film scene. There are an abundance of films that work with outlandish character types--we're supposed to be instantly charmed. But for all the films that utilize this formula, few are really successful (for me, two diverse examples would be Solondz's "Happiness" or even "Junebug"). And while July doesn't quite reach those heights, there is still plenty to be admired in her first effort.

One very smart choice is that everything is underplayed! The situations aren't particularly believable, but the feelings elicited from them have a truth and sweetness. I used the phrase "finding the realness in unreality" in another review, and I think it's apt here too. While I didn't believe many of the plot points were realistic, there was still a thoughtfulness and heart behind them--and I think there are parts of the film that will stay with you.

The actors are uniformly good. Again, the success of the film rests on it's subtlety. Most of the performances were understated, it was as if life were just unfolding around these characters. Had any of this been played broadly, it would have been disastrous. For those concerned about the elements some label as "child pornography or exploitation," serious minded viewers have nothing to get worked up over. Sexuality and children do not exist in different worlds, as much as some would like--and it's no crime to illustrate a sexual curiosity on film. The intent of the film is clear, there is a purity and innocence within-- even if some are disturbed by the implication.

I didn't fall in love with this film, but it was never less than interesting. It succeeded in my mind, but it's for a particular audience--and even that audience seems to be divided. Is it pretentious or is it art? Those who know me realize I ask that question a lot--this film leans a little in both directions. It's 3 1/2 stars from me, which I'll round up for nicely nuanced performances from the younger, more unknown actors. KGHarris, 11/06.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quirky Characters Connect. The Kids Shine the Brightest. Oct. 18 2005
By mirasreviews - Published on Amazon.com
Richard (John Hawkes) is a recently separated father of two boys, with a romantic, decidedly impractical personality. Christine (Miranda July) is an aspiring performance artist who falls in love with Richard when he sells her some shoes. But Richard doesn't seem keen on a new relationship at this moment. Meanwhile, his co-worker Andrew (Brad William Henke) is carrying on a strange flirtation with teenagers Rebecca (Najarra Townsend) and Heather (Natasha Slayton), who are classmates of Richard's son Peter (Miles Thompson). Peter and younger brother Robby (Brandon Ratcliff) are messing around in internet sex chatrooms. Sylvie (Carlie Westerman), a fastidious young neighbor, is planning way ahead for her life as a homemaker..

I thought "Me and You and Everyone We Know" was going to be a 2-star movie for the first half hour, in which a lot of aimless people have aimless conversations, seemingly in slow motion. But the film became watchable as the child characters became more prominent, bringing humor and interesting personalities to a story whose lead characters generate no interest whatsoever. You would have to like Christine and Richard to like the film, and they fell completely flat for me. But the kids are its saving grace. Brandon Ratcliffe as Robbie is especially natural and charming. Miranda July, who wrote and directed the film as well as stars in it, takes an intelligent, respectful approach to children, which I think is the film's strength. It's weakness is that this is extremely self-indulgent filmmaking. "Me and You and Everyone We Know" is a quirky take on how people of various ages and personalities try to connect to one another in various ways for an assortment of reasons.

The DVD (MGM 2005): The only bonus features are 6 deleted scenes. Subtitles are available for the film in English.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Swept Away Oct. 12 2005
By Wes - Published on Amazon.com
This is just a marvelous work, trenchant and magical. Critics of its use of children and sexuality ought to shut the hell up, because it's obvious some scenes were achieved through simple editing without the kids necessarily having direct knowledge of what the audience is watching. Right? Anyway, MJ was terrific. Too bad she didn't stick a commentary track on this dvd.
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